Do not be fooled by the generic title of this little-known French movie, Them AKA Ils is an excellent horror movie definitely worth watching. It’s a part of the New French Extremity, a subgenre of horror movies that includes such movies as Martyrs, Inside, and Frontiere(s). Loosely based on true events, it injects a healthy dose of realism into this interesting movement. This also means that there won’t be as much gore and graphic violence here as in other, similar movies. However, what it lacks in gore, it makes up in sheer suspense.
Them is an incredibly intense movie with a claustrophobic atmosphere. Cleverly using all the tricks from other horror movies, keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for what’s going to happen next. And you know something pretty bad is going to happen. Add to this a surprisingly short running time of just seventy minutes and you’ve got yourself one hell of a horror movie night opener. The production values were solid, especially sound design so don’t expect some grainy low-budget visuals.
I guess since the movie was shot in Romania they saved up a lot of the budget and used it wisely. For example, the house you see in the movie is an actual old estate in Romania. It was so sprawling and large that the production wasn’t able to furnish all the rooms. So, if you’re looking to make your dream come true and own a big mansion, head out to Romania. Oh yeah, just make sure you put in a good security system. Possibly booby trap the entire house and wait for the fuckers to come to you. Hmmm, now there’s an idea for a movie…
Clementine is living her dream life. She and her boyfriend Lucas have this huge mansion in Romania and all they have to do now is to redecorate it. First, they need to adjust a little bit to life in a new country and their new jobs. Clementine is working as a teacher in a local school while Lucas is a stay-at-home writer. Little did they know that in just a couple of days their whole lives are going to change overnight. To be more precise, over the course of one night.
When it comes to the based on true events part of the plot, I’m not so sure about it. It turns out that the movie is actually based on an urban legend from these parts. So, if any of you Romanians are reading this, please feel free to write more about that in the comments. I guess that “based on true events” gimmick is something we’re going to be seeing more and more. However, that doesn’t take away anything from the quality of this little monster. Lean and mean, it’s here to scare the shit out of you and make you double-check the locks on your doors.
Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Them, I recommend you check out Eden Lake starring Michael Fassbender. And I guess The Strangers is also a good choice. Both of these movies are quite disturbing and difficult to watch at times just so you know. But I guess that’s what makes a good and engaging movie, movie worth watching. And that’s the purpose of this site, Rabbit Reviews, to recommend only movies worth watching.