In the House

In the House

François Ozon
StudioCanal

With In the House, Ozon carries forward themes with which he is associated of the human psyche, manipulation and a splash of sexuality, as previously seen in Swimming Pool and 8 Women. He does so in style, assisted by compelling performances from Fabrice Luchini, youngsters Ernst Umhauer and Bastien Ughetto, and a characteristically cool Kristin Scott Thomas.

Teacher Germain (Luchini) becomes drawn to charismatic pupil Claude (Umhauer), who shows a flair for writing. Claude in turn, however, is fascinated by fellow pupil Rapha (Ughetto) and his “perfect family”, who turn up in the stories he writes. Beginning innocently, events take a dark turn as Claude inveigles himself into the lives of Rapha and his parents, placing himself “in their house” and attempting to shape their lives into his own narrative.

A racing soundtrack drives things forward as Claude’s story-world gains momentum, and the film as a whole bears all of the cleverness we have come to expect from Ozon. As a result, viewers are gripped and, like Germain, cannot help but eagerly await the story’s conclusion.

Grace Henderson