2003 Certificate: 18

Synopsis

This assured French slasher movie about two teenage girls stalked by a razor-wielding psycho is a cut above. A shadowy figure - we never find out who - lays siege to a remote farmhouse and its hapless occupants Alex (Maiwenn) and Marie (Cecile De France). Director Alexandre Aja - who went on to helm The Hills Have Eyes remake and Piranha - harks back to the irony-free slashers of the late 1970s for inspiration and he can certainly jack the tension up as tight as fromage wire.

Director

  • Alexandre Aja

Cast

  • Maïwenn Le Besco

  • Cécile de France

  • Philippe Nahon

Review

The laugh-a-minute tone for this Gallic gore-fest is pretty much set when you see a shadowy figure engaged in a sex act with the decapitated head of young girl.

Sated, he tosses the bloodied bonce out the window of his beat-up van and trundles off to the next grim appointment.

His destination is a remote farmhouse owned by the parents of Alex (Maiwenn), who is spending the summer there revising with her best pal Marie (De France).

Shortly after her arrival, Marie peeks through the window to see newly-arrived van-man despatching Alex's dad by knocking off his head with a chest of drawers.

Terrified, she cowers in her room while the boiler-suited, hobnail-booted nutter roams the house slicing open Alex's mum and shooting her fleeing little brother in the back.

Now there are just the two girls left against an emotionless killing machine who adds an extra touch of menace by resembling the late Roy Kinnear.

Director Alexandre Aja harks back to the irony-free slashers of the late 1970s for inspiration and he can certainly jack the tension up as tight as cheese wire.

Tim Evans