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After the stunningly terrible “Sinister”, I finally understand that the future of horror is not in overbudgeted US productions, but … anywhere else, really. Over the last months I came across quite a few interesting French horror and thriller movies, and when Griff of 3guys1movie suggested I check out “Ils” for properly done creepy kids, I did not hesitate. After all, Griff also hated Sinister, and Ils is French, what can go wrong?

And there is nothing wrong about it, really: “Ils” has everything you would expect from such a film: nice and handsome couple (promises sex scene early in the film, to show their affection), house way off from its neighbours (promises screams for help being in vain), dark attic with plastic covers hanging all over (promises hand camera chase through the maze with the odd bad guy suddenly standing in front of some ill-fated hero), and a not necessary but also “why not”-touch of Eastern European flavour, being set in Romania (promising either excessive violence, or vampires). So when things start going wrong and noises start around and inside the house, there is that sinister (…) feeling that this will be a half-happy ending at best.

The film plays it solid, without twists and turns, plays the creeps and jumps the way it should, and gave me more than one moment of nail-biting when the chase started around the house. I was grateful for that, because recently, these films did not really achieve that.

That does not mean it’s great. While my nerves played along with the script, my brain was a bit bored. “Ils” does not have the subtext or the ambition of “Martyr”, it does not go the gore path of “Frontiers”, it is straightforward in what it makes us expect and what it delivers. After having seen a couple of these over the last months. I think the last horror film of sorts that I found genuinely “good” (however to apply that term) must have been “Eden Lake”, and that was a while ago. Maybe “The Descent” before that. “Martyr” counts as an honourable mention. I think I need to shift my attention… just found this nice list of forthcoming Thai horror movies, including mention of some interesting backlist  by the respective directors. “In The Shadow of The Naga”, “Bangkok Loco”, “Art of the Devil”,… all sounds a bit more refreshing than “Pretty couple chased down by some bad guys and never finds the light switch”. But let’s see…

One Comment

  1. hey glad you checked this one out! Agreed it may not be the best of films but a much better entry into the genre than Sinister. If you want to try out something a little bit more off the beaten path you should check out Carnival of Souls from 1962. It is B movie schlock but some of it was truly creepy.

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