Posted Sep 26 2018

LFF 2018 Preview - School's Out (L'heure De La Sortie)

Dir: Sebastien Marnier

Starring Laurent Lafitte, Emmanuelle Bercot, Victor Bonnel, Gregory Montel, Ginge, Pascal Gregory

A teacher stands behind his quietly working students before throwing himself out of the classroom’s top floor window. A group of six pupils look on dispassionately. Shortly after, substitute teacher Pierre Hoffman (Lafitte) arrives to take over this class of “Intellectually Advanced Children” as they are labelled, and slowly becomes increasingly suspicious of the actions of this cold and removed group.

Such is the starting point of Marnier’s chilling sophomore effort, a film that impresses with its ongoing ability to keep you guessing as to what is to occur. As Hoffman follows the children to a quarry beyond the local woods, he finds them playing out a quasi-Fight Club scenario to keep strong, testing the limits of drowning and suffocating each other, and making (and hiding) a series of recordings that interweave their actions with harrowing footage of slaughter houses, natural disasters, 9/11, Donald Trump and – if possible – worse. Who are this group? Nascent eco-terrorists? Nihilistic teens? The Children Of The Damned?? Potentially all of the above Hoffman decides, as his own safety appears to be in increasing jeopardy.

It’s a slow burn of a movie, (aided and abetted by a superb brooding synth-heavy score aurally and visually by a constantly burning power station looming over the background), one that meanders at times, but holds it level of intrigue and suspense right to the end.

School's Out plays the LFF on 18 & 19 October

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