Monday, 23 December 2013

In the house- In a nutshell

Bored and frustrated with the lackluster performance of his English literature class, teacher Germain  
(Fabrice Luchini) sees potential in the voyeuristic writing of Claude (Ernst Umhauer) a young boy obsessed with a friend's family.

With a simple story that doesn't take much to tell, it is certainly an achievement to say that In the house is truly riveting throughout never letting up for comic relief or unnecessary sub-plots. Very much driving towards the films conclusion, the film plays out as if the audience is reading an engaging novel, very much relating to the themes of the film with the adult protagonist following suit being apprehensive in approach to the writing but elated whilst reading. Considering the films darker themes we also, as spectators feel ashamed at being so encapsulated within a story of such voyeurism. Much of this engrossment within the film comes from the acting performances, most notably from young actor Ernst Umhauer who plays the teenage boy with such sufficient menace and depth that his rather unrealistic character becomes believable and captivating as we attempt to deconstruct his complex behaviour; as he does with the characters he writes about. Using intelligent narrative and cinematic techniques to further increase the tempo of the story, the films cinematography is truly stunning carrying a bold sense of self-importance that only further involves the audience within its brilliant tale.

Despite being a little unrealistic and contrived, In the house proves to be a truly gripping piece of filmmaking giving a thought provoking explanation into the thrills of voyeuristic reading through the use of rich, meaningful characters. 

8.5/10- Dark, disturbing and undeniably involving. 

Calum Russell

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