Amidst the brutally violent À l'intérieur, Frontiere(s), and Martyrs, which have come to represent what has been deemed the "New Wave of French Horror," there exists a little film called Ils (Them). Eschewing egregious amounts of blood in favor of real tension, this home invasion thriller by David Moreau and Xavier Palud has remained relatively glossed over, often in favor of the widely released The Strangers, which came out two years later and sported the same home invasion theme but with the unfortunate addition of Liv Tyler. Although clocking in at only 77 minutes, Ils is a relentless film from its horrific start to its brutal, yet subtle climax, and as such serves as a delightful respite from jump-scare laden thrillers and ridiculous remakes.

Ils has come to represent precisely what I look for in a horror film: real fears approached in a minimalistic fashion that rely, in part, on the subject matter, as opposed to jump scares or a hackneyed score to frighten the viewer. Ils is pure, unbridled tension, and for that very reason it makes my inaugural film for the Horror Squad Movie Club.
categories Features, Horror