Film: Ils

Ils (Them in English) is a 2006 French horror film set in a remote country setting of Romania.

Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy) is a French teacher who has recently moved to Romania with her partner Lucas (Michael Cohen). One night, they hear strange noises and investigate.

Not to be confused with Them!, a 1950s creature feature, They, a thriller from the early 2000s, or the 2008 horror film The Strangers, which has a similar premise. Also not to be confused with Is, which is a high school romance (free of any horror).

Warning: Contains unmarked spoilers.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Justified/Averted/Played Straight, whether they are mere sewers (played straight) storm drains (justified, as they need to be larger to allow greater flow of water) or maintenance tunnels underneath a highway (averted, as they are meant to be accessible to people.)
  • Bloodless Carnage: For the film, anyway. Despite being terrifying, the film is almost completely goreless. What is shown is very subtle, and not Squick-inducing at all.
  • Children Are Innocent: Averted to hell and back.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Happens in the prologue.
  • Downer Ending: Clémentine and Lucas are both murdered by the children.
  • Eye Scream: Subverted. A sharp implement is thrust towards Clémentine's eye, but she quickly jerks away just in time.
  • Foreshadowing: Quite a bit, including the shot of Lucas turning off a TV, which has the hallway reflected in the screen, while the program has a child running past the area the reflection covers.
  • From Bad to Worse: If Clémentine thought getting her car stolen was bad...
  • Hope Spot: In the form of a light at the end of a grated-shut tunnel.
  • Hot Teacher: Clémentine.
  • Idiot Ball: Averted. The characters don't seem to even own one. They do all the right things, but their tormenters are just very good at being one-step ahead.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted. The killers aren't shown getting arrested in the film itself, but the text at the end states that they were eventually caught.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The intruder's main method of torment.
  • The Reveal: The killers are children. Young children, who just want to "play."
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Played straight.