When Yannick (Marc-André Grondin), a young film student, crashes his bicycle thanks to a pesky black cat that runs in front of him he approaches the occupant of the titular address, Jacques (Normand D’Amour), to ask for help and then finds himself in a very dangerous situation when he discovers that Jacques is holding someone in his house that he views as unrighteous and due to be punished by death. Not knowing what to do with Yannick, who is only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and not necessarily unrighteous, Jacques decides to keep him prisoner while he ponders exactly how to handle the situation. A tense situation is made all the more delicate by the presence of Jacques’ family – his wife Maude (Sonia Vachon), youngest daughter Anne (Élodie Larivière) and an elder daughter who may or may not be ready to take over her father’s duties, Michelle (Mylène St-Sauveur).
With some enjoyably surreal touches, a classic battle of wills and the way in which chess is actually given an edge of excitement (Jacques is a keen expert who has never been beaten and considers the game as part of a probable solution to the situation) this movie is a psychological thriller/horror that gets everything just right.
Performances across the board are superb, the script by Patrick Senécal works well and direction from Éric Tessier is well above average. Okay, so the last half hour or so may throw up a number of moments that you could see coming from the first half hour but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment and tension of the situation. The film plays out very much like an early Polanski movie, no bad thing, with it’s mix of mindgames and violent outbursts but the relationships that develop between the characters bring to mind the complexity and twistiness of The Silence Of The Lambs (no bad thing either).
What impresses most about 5150, Rue Des Ormes is the way that it has so many directions it could go in thanks to it’s central premise and yet it manages to deliver absolutely top-notch thrills while also stamping it’s own identity firmly onto the mind of the audience. You’ll enjoy it, you’ll wince, you’ll become tense and you may just want to learn a little bit more about chess. Because who knows when you might need to play.
DIRECTOR: ÉRIC TESSIER
CAST: MARC-ANDRE GRONDIN, NORMAND D’AMOUR, SONIA VACHON, MYLENE ST-SAUVEUR, ELODIE LARIVIERE
DURATION: 111 MINS APPROX