Dark Sky Films



2.0 out of 52.0 out of 52.0 out of 52.0 out of 5 2.0

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One of the least understood movie monsters is the pronoun. As killing machines they often work in unfathomable ways (now you don’t see me, now you still don’t!), though they may also constitute a metaphorical outrage. For at least a good portion of its lean running time, David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s Them is effective as an unpretentious rush into the unknown. After the plural personal pronoun kills a mother and daughter by the side of a Romanian road, it’s off to rural Bucharest to torment Clem (Olivia Bonamy), a schoolteacher, and her boyfriend Lucas (Michaël Cohen). The couple’s cavernous, sparsely furnished manse is the backdrop for a floorboards-creaking, doors-slamming chase sequence that is successful in spite of the fact that it leaves you with the bizarre impression that the flashlight-wielding pronoun may be a parkour dancer with a velociraptor voice box. Clem and Lucas more or less do everything wrong, but that’s forgivable given the generally inexplicable nature of their situation, though things quickly get sketchy when the pursuit transitions to the forest outside their renter’s paradise. (Spoilers ahead.) After Lucas dispatches a hooded figure after it bizarrely runs out of steam, he travels into a subterranean hovel where he discovers some teenage nut forcing Clem to…huff glue? At last, Children Underground reimagined as a horror film! Except not. Though we should probably be thankful that these children aren’t sold to us as representations of the Dark Soul of Europe, the filmmakers don’t follow through on the explanation that these fucktards are murdering people simply for fun. The unintentional effect of Moreau and Palud’s flippancy is that their wind-up toy too easily reveals its hand as a Hollywood calling card.

Dark Sky Films
74 min
David Moreau, Xavier Palud
David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Olivia Bonamy, Michaël Cohen, Adriana Moca, Maria Roman, Camelia Maxim, Alexandru Boghiu, Emanuel Stefanuc, Horia Ioan, Stefan Cornic, George Iulian