Re:View – ‘5150 Rue Des Ormes’

The Arts

Ah, it must be a foreign film – imdb has almost no reviews on its site. Well, they miss out on a lot.
I’m a sucker for films in which people are held captive, a sub-genre that began with ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ and the underrated ‘Fanatic’ (aka ‘Die! Die! My Darling!’) in which deranged Christian Tallulah Bankhead imprisons her future daughter-in-law for being a slut.

Virtually every zombie film has at least one ‘trapped in a house’ scene. ‘Rec’ and ‘Rec 2’ both managed them brilliantly, and Hollywood keeps turning out crafty unacknowledged remakes of those films. There have also been films like ‘While She Was Out’, which makes a trip to the shops disturbing, and the office building-set ‘P2’ which keeps the heroine trapped at her place of work. The best was ‘After Hours’, which trapped Griffin Dunne in downtown New York and played out like a horror film, complete with marauding villagers bearing torches.

Now comes an excellent example of the ‘prisoner in the city’ sub-sub-genre, this time from France. In ‘5150 Elm’s Way’ (US title) a young man called Yannick falls off his bike and picks on the wrong house on which to call for help, as he interrupts the householder in the middle of a murder.

He’s captured and imprisoned in an upstairs room, but Yannick is in a suburban neighbourhood, and his captor has a loving wife, children and a jaw-dropping secret. Rather than taking the route of typical torture-porn movies, a relatively blood-free battle of wills develops. Moreover, the captive’s own state of mind slowly becomes unravelled, leading to a brilliant new twist I’ve certainly never seen before in this type of film.

Typically of a Euro-suspenser, this simply refuses to go where such films usually go, leading to a truly bonkers finale. One to check out.

One comment on “Re:View – ‘5150 Rue Des Ormes’”

  1. J F Norris says:

    As a fellow Boileau & Narcejac enthusiast you know that I will be tracking this down like a rabid bounty hunter on the trail of an escaped felon. And starring Marc-André Grondin – how can I resist? He was in C.R.A.Z.Y., one of my favorite French Canadian movies ever. Netflix – of course – does not carry 5150 rue des Ormes. But the DVD exists. Not interested in paying close to $25 for it though. Someone in Chicago must have it as a rental. Thanks for clueing me in to another “must see.”

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