A young French couple living in an old mansion 30 kilometres outside of Bucharest are woken one dark night by the sounds of intruders. Thereafter, a game of cat and mouse commences as the man and woman creep around their labyrinthine home stalked by persons or things unknown.
Co-directed by first time French filmmakers Xavier Palud and David Moreau, Them is an exercise in prolonging suspense that feels very drawn out indeed. There’s nothing wrong with keeping the exact nature of the horror secret until the final scenes of the film, nor with attempting to build the suspense without recourse to cheap shocks. The problem here is the lengthy lead up to the denouement isn’t particularly scary, while the characters - mousey teacher Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy, who you may remember from the excellent murder drama Read My Lips) and irritating novelist Lucas (Michaël Cohen), aren’t interesting enough for us to care about what happens to them. And when the pay-off finally arrives, it’s wholly underwhelming.