Them (French: Ils) is a 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud. According to a title card at the beginning of the film it is "based on real events."
Olivia Bonamy plays Clementine, a young teacher, who has recently moved from France to a remote but idyllic country house near Bucharest, Romania with her lover Lucas played by Michaël Cohen.
A mother and daughter drive along a deserted country road at night and crash their vehicle. The mother disappears. The daughter calls out but her call is repeated from the woods by a soft voice. The daughter attempts to call the police, but is strangled to death.
The next day, Clémentine passes the crashed vehicle. After going to bed with her boyfriend Lucas, Clémentine is awakened by the sound of music outside. They investigate and see their car has been moved away from the house. As Lucas approaches it, the car is driven off. Lucas goes back downstairs to find the TV on and a tap running. He swings a poker at the movement of an intruder and shatters the glass in a door. His leg is impaled by a large piece. He runs back up to Clémentine and the two lock themselves in the bathroom. Clémentine climbs into the attic to find an escape route. One of the intruders grabs her, but she pushes him off a balcony. Clémentine and Lucas flee from the house, locking the second intruder inside.
The pair limp into the woods, only to encounter a fence. Due to his injury, Lucas cannot climb over it. He hides in the bushes as Clémentine heads for help. She sees the light from two torches and realises they are catching up to her. She finds her car but is confronted by the intruders.
Lucas hears Clémentine's screams and finds the car. He kills one of the attackers and discovers it is a teenage boy. He follows her screams and finds a manhole. In the sewers, he finds Clémentine being tortured by another teenager while a younger boy sits nearby, telling the torturer to stop. Lucas kills the teenager. With the help of the younger boy, the two escape through the sewer system. The boy turns on them, and Clémentine watches in horror as Lucas is dragged away. As she is about to kill the boy, he asks, "Why won't you play with us?" Clémentine tries to flee but is dragged off.
The film ends with a group of four hooded children emerging from the woods and running for a bus. On-screen text explains that the bodies of Clémentine and Lucas were found five days later and that the murderers were children aged 10–15. Upon interrogation the youngest of the group revealed as an explanation of that night's events that "They wouldn't play with us."Olivia Bonamy as Clémentine
Michaël Cohen as Lucas
Adriana Mocca as Ilona
Maria Roman as Sanda
Camelia Maxim as Maria
The film has been advertised as being "based on real events"; Allegedly, the "true story" on which the film is based off of is that of an Austrian couple who were murdered by three teenagers while vacationing in the Czech Republic, but no concrete evidence has emerged to prove this tale.
The film was shot in 30 days. According to Moreau, Olivia Bonamy had apparently suffered from claustrophobia, and so during the scene where her character Clémentine crawls through the narrow tunnels, much of her performance was really the result of her genuine fear of being in the tight spaces.
The film has been well received internationally, and, as of 2012, has a 60% (fresh) rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares." Jonathan Ross of the BBC called the film "77 minutes of gloriously maintained tension".