Updated: Feb 10
Directed by: Louis Godbout
Written by: Louis Godbout
Starring: Laurence Leboeuf, Patrick Hivon, Lucie Laurier, Emile Proulx-Cloutier
A married couple go to their isolated house in the countryside, hoping to recover from a devastating tragedy.
Chloe (Leboeuf) is an illustrator and her husband Mathieu (Hivon) is a public prosecutor. Not long after they suffer a tragic event, they drive to Chloe's house in the mountains, with the intention of finding peace and recover. Chloe is a troubled individual and suffers from panic attacks and is tormented by nightmares and frightening sounds. She appears to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She ties ropes on trees and paints a large 'X' on every window of her home, in order to stop birds from flying into them. On the other hand, Mathieu appears to be calm and in control of his emotions. Their time at the property is disturbed by sinister occurrences, such as the appearance of a dead bird and a large branch smashing the car's windshield. Chloe becomes more and more unbalanced and is convinced that something bad is happening.
Distributed by Mbur Indie Film Distribution and inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poem Erlkonig, this psychological thriller takes a look into the life of a mentally unstable individual and explores themes of trauma, loss and marriage. The suspense builds up throughout, as the audience is attempting to figure out whether someone is trying to hurt the couple or whether it is all just inside Chloe's head.
Leboeuf is outstanding and very believable as an antisocial, emotionally damaged person. She has been deeply affected by the tragic incident, seems to be mixing fantasy with reality and is afraid that something evil is going against her. Hivon is convincing as an intelligent man, who follows logic.
Godbout does a terrific job as director, creating magnificent bird's-eye view shots and many breathtaking establishing shots of the forest and mountains. The score is atmospheric, tense and dramatic, effectively accompanying the story and the film has a wonderful soundtrack, consisting of marvelous opera.
The opening sequence deserves special mention as it truly stands out. It contains live action and animation shots. A younger Chloe is horse riding by herself, in the woods. She imagines that she is being pursued by the Erlking, a mythological being. The sequence frequently cuts to hand-drawn animated scenes of Chloe riding her horse through the woods, that resemble her own work. This mesmerizing part of the film is superbly shot and edited, making great use of match cuts and the sublime opera piece that is heard throughout makes the whole viewing experience of this scene look very out of this world. It is also a compelling introduction to Chloe's character.
Mont Foster has an intruiging plot, interesting characters and a great deal of suspense and also drama. Godbout's directing and Leboeuf's powerful and emotional acting support the film splendidly. This is an achievement worthy of a lot of praise and recognition.