In the House - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In the House Reviews

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½ January 11, 2015
While the plot may be a little preposterous at points, the approach to storytelling and acting make it an interesting piece that keeps you guessing.
December 24, 2014
Slowly but surely, calmly but dangerously, this film offers an elegant, uneasy, and captivating experience in words, voices, and images.
December 10, 2014
Joining the Tom Ripleys and the Brandon Shaws of the world, Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer) is yet another slick sociopath that smiles a creepy smile in the face of the mini-tragedies that befall the people that attract his attention. He isn't a killer but he may as well be; he seems distant from reality, putting himself at an arm's length away from life's biggest outpourings of emotion.
"In the House" is a clever black comedy that touches on the obsessions of Brian De Palma and the subtleties of Hitchcock. With an adept premise at its disposal, the film constructs several different climaxes (some based in reality, some in fantasy) that act as tricks in a setting of stringed treats.
Ozon's direction is subversive and unpredictable; the situation begins with a comedic edge, but will it transform into a voyeuristic thriller? "In the House" keeps us on our toes at all times - even if it isn't necessarily a "thriller" per say, it contains the same uncomfortable silence, the same uncomfortable suspense.
It's the start of a new school year, and lit teacher Germain Germain (Fabrice Luchini) can feel unrest bubbling in his blood. When he assigns a "How I Spent My Last Weekend" essay, he is disappointed with the results. The majority of the kids are so apathetic that all they can muster is a few lines about how they ate pizza on Saturday and were too tired to do anything on Sunday.
But one student perks his interest: the smarmy Claude Garcia, who writes about his experience wriggling into the home of an affluent family he's been spying on. To him, they're picture perfect. When he becomes the tutor of the house's youngest member, the shy Rapha (Bastien Ughetto), he is simultaneously intrigued and mocking of their boring normalities. The paper ends simply with a to be continued.
Germain is troubled, but mesmerized. He seems to visualize a premise for a potentially successful novel, and immediately takes interest in Claude's writings. He wants his student to make that to be continued a reality. Germain once again finds enthusiasm for teaching, but when Claude proves to be much more perceptive and manipulative than he first appears to be, a chain of events trails on that means disaster for his instructor.
"In the House" is brilliantly constructed, seamless in a labyrinth of intricacies. It's amusing and dark; as Germain analyzes Claude's writings as though they were fiction, there is devious smirk on Claude's face; but then again, we're wearing that devious smirk too. Germain intermittently pushes his student to further develop the Rapha Sr. "character," or delve a little deeper into the psyche of his wife (Emmanuelle Seigner) - one can only hold their head in their hands in frustration that Germain can't seem to grasp the idea that these people are real, and the damage done is all the work of Claude.
Yet, Germain has had the same job for years, has been married for years, has kept the same routine going for years. In order to get some excitement into the atmosphere, he'd rather live the lives of seemingly average people just to avoid the ennui of his own. Luchini's performance is so convincing that we never see Germain with disappointment in our eyes; we instead see a man so caught up in escapism that he'd do anything to ride on its back.
Claude, however, is a willing subject. He slides along corridors hoping to catch a glimpse of something he shouldn't, he wishes to whiff another scent of a middle-class woman, as he so uncomfortably puts it. For the majority of the film, he carries a dashing arrogance that makes you want him to do bad; but just towards the end, we find him just as desperate to escape his own reality as Germain is. Umhauer is 50 shades of sinister, and the fact that we hope for something unspeakable to happen speaks volumes about his performance.
"In the House" jumbles up the trappings of suburban life and twists it into a gnarled exercise in underlying tension. The terror we feel never comes to a head, but we crave it.
½ October 14, 2014
No toda historia debe estar estructurada a partir del deseo y debe tener un final claro. ¿O sí? Francois Ozon ("La Piscina") nos trae un provocador trabajo basado en una obra de teatro español acerca de un maestro de literatura y su precoz pupilo. Magníficas actuaciones, giros de tuerca fenomenales y un final que abre a la discusión, son los ingredientes de esta explosiva cinta. Imperdible.
August 30, 2014
An interesting French movie about a student who is infatuated with his best friend's mother while his best friend is interested in him.
½ August 24, 2014
interesting tale in a 'american beauty" kinda way
August 16, 2014
It was enjoyable to an extent but got tedious later on, I did enjoy the beautifully spoken French.
½ July 31, 2014
Raro como drama francés jaja, pero es tan rebuscada que está buena porque queda en uno entender que parte es ficción y que parte no y te mantiene siempre sin saber como puede desenlazarse la trama.
July 12, 2014
In The House [France, 2013] It teaches you to build your characters, but proved otherwise. Impressive screenplay though. 8/10
½ July 3, 2014
Fabrics of fiction and reality overlap in this voyeuristic experiment...--Ozon in good shape!!
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2014
This is an excellent suspense film with a surprising amount of laughs thrown in there. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the film was how subversive it truly is. The film is definitely very meta, but not in as over-the-top way as you'd see in other forms of entertainment that are very self-referential. I think this aspect actually works in favor of the film because it deals with Germain teaching Claude how to tell an effective story with compelling characters that have to overcome obstacles, offering criticism in order to improve Claude's storytelling abilities. This mentoring of Germain towards Claude is Germain's way to live vicariously through Claude's writing, as his own writing was never good enough, and also a way to have a father-son relationship as it's probably too late for him and his wife to have kids. But this mentoring definitely affects the way the story progresses. What I liked about the film is its approach to this mentoring, you can really see the change in Claude's approach to his story about desire in all the wrong places with each meeting he has with Germain. The same kid that wrote that, fairly, innocuous first essay isn't the same kid that ended up doing what he did. You can see how he changes, improves, and matures as the film, and his relationship with Germain, progresses. In that regard, the film is top-notch, because you can really grasp how Claude is improving as a writer and how he's becoming more and more 'ruthless' in the search of what he desires. It gets to the point where Claude doesn't really care who he hurts as long as he gets what he wants. That's top-notch character development if you ask me. There's also a sense of unreliability about Claude, so that makes you question absolutely everything he writes. Which parts of it are true and which parts of it are his own imagination and embellishing upon that. It's even to the point where I'm not even convinced that the ending I saw was a real ending. It could've all just been Claude writing his own perfect ending, or what he imagined the perfect ending would be for all those involved. It's definitely something that gets you thinking about absolutely everything you see and that's not something a lot of films do effectively. The acting is strong, as was to be expected, but I definitely think the writing, unsurprisingly enough, is the real highlight of the film. Just how clever and subversive the film really is, it's quite a joy to watch. The film has enough laughs to keep it from being tedious, for some, as I'm sure the "intellectual" tone of the film will put some off. Still this is a great movie, I can't complain at all.
June 21, 2014
very interesting commentary on the desires to write a story, to read a story, and ultimately, to be one with a story. And Ozon's way of telling his story in a cinematic language! So clever!
June 13, 2014
Just when you though great storytelling was dead, Ozon hits you with a shamelessly offensive yet brutally honest memorable art house film.
½ May 26, 2014
A surprising and intriguing look at storytelling from the perspective of both the teacher and the student. In the House has a very simple yet compelling voyeuristic approach following the young talented writer Claude as he spies and pries into an average French family. It kept me engaged and wondering what was going to happen next the entire time. It was kind of a comedic mystery thriller as well as a drama. The film breaks apart the artifice that is at the core of storytelling, and yet it tells a great story even when we are seeing the wizard behind the curtain pulling the levers and pushing the buttons.
May 7, 2014
Playfully dark storytelling.
May 2, 2014
Captivant, bons acteurs, belle histoire qui surprend et intrigue tout le long. À voir!
April 26, 2014
Happily diving into what obviously going to be a chaos.
April 20, 2014
El guión es de lo mejor del año, como maneja el director y guionista en este caso la vida de esa familia como si fuera algo teatral. Sin embargo es muy agradable
April 19, 2014
A true classic! One of the three best films the last year. A mind bender which will excite you, and make you ask questions about what's right and where the boundary's go.
½ April 18, 2014
Extraordinario trabajo que reflexiona sobre la creación.
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