***** (5 stars)
Friends Marie (Cécile de France, "Hereafter", "L'auberge espagnole") and Alex (Maïwenn, "The Fifth Element") escape to the family farm to focus on studying for exams. No sooner are they tucked in for the night than a crazed man enters the home and kills the whole family, taking Alex hostage. Now, it is up to Marie to save her friend before the unthinkable happens.
The casting is impeccable. de France is one of my favorite young actresses in Europe right now. She has the ability to exude both fragility and strength, often in the same breath. Maiween is an actress I am less familiar with but who has an especially difficult scene towards the end that kept my hand clasped over my mouth the whole time. Philippe Nahon is a genius who has starred in over 150 films and TV. His resume reads like a who's who of French cinema. He has worked with everyone! Check him out in "I Stand Alone", "Le Pacts des Loups", and "Calvaire". He plays the killer very close to the chest, with holding any sings of motivation or insanity. Instead, he is the face of death only- solid, stoic, fucking creepy!