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Them (2006)

Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Starring: Olivia Bonamy, Michael Cohen
Running time: 77 min.
Released by Dark Sky/MPI
Also known as Ils

A French couple moves into an old dark house in Romania. The process of settling in is seriously complicated one night when something or someone begins stalking them in their new home.

That's all the plot you are going to get out of Them, a very lean, mean little movie that wastes little of its 77 minute running time on setting up this nightmare scenario. It doesn't have to. Directors Palud and Moreau aren't interested in story - only in scares. They certainly have the techniques down - from the dark, dreary digital photography to a soundtrack that'll have you looking over your shoulder, the makers are in full control of the action. All that is required of the film's stars, Olivia Bonamy and Michael Cohen, is a lot of running around while looking frightened, which they do fairly well. This is a short, effective film that doesn't overstay its welcome. My only criticism is with the film's prologue - a scene featuring a mother and her daughter being terrorized in their car. Too much information about what is to come is given away, and it seems to have been tacked on, presumably to fatten the movie up a bit.

I don't want to give away too many details about the film, as the less you know going into Them the better. It's supposedly based on real events, though there is no question that the makers took a good number of liberties with the source material. I advise against looking into the film's inspiration until after you see the movie.

Some folks have said that this is one of the scariest movies of all time. I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that Them is a very well-executed thriller that deserves a rental.

3 out of 5

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