Today: July 14, 2024

5150 Elm's Way

Nothing to do with Freddy Kruger, but an intelligent and original horror thriller to rival even old knife hands.

Nothing to do with Freddy
Kruger, but an intelligent and original horror thriller to rival even old knife

the current crop of horror out-put it would appear that gore-porn is gradually
making an exit and being replaced by taught and tense thrillers. While
mainstream cinema has the likes of the Paranormal
series it is the foreign market that continues to give us the real
chills. The obvious front-runners are Spain with Guillermo Del Toro overseeing the likes of The Orphanage (2007) and recently Julia’s Eyes. 5150 Elm’s Way, coming from French Canada, is not a
supernatural horror so much as a psychological thriller, but one that asks big
questions and demands even bigger answers.

young film student Yannick (Grondin)
falls off his bike while filming on the titular street. Badly cut he ventures
into the house of the Beaulieu family. While father Jacques (D’Amour) goes to call him a taxi,
Yannick discovers a man chained within the house. Taken hostage himself Yannick
finds himself becoming part of a bizarre family dynamic. At the mercy of
Jacques, who believes he is on a righteous path and who will only kill the
unrighteous. Yannick is therefore safe but a prisoner within the home. Only if
he beats Jacques at chess will he secure his freedom.

paper Elm’s Way might sound like a gratuitous torture movie but there is
actually very little on screen violence. Indeed Yannick is treated well by all
members of the family other than rebellious, and hostile, eldest daughter
Michelle (St-Sauveur). She takes an
element of pride in hurting Yannick but her controlling father soon puts a stop
to this.

the violence sporadic and relatively tamed the film is open to a wonderful game
of wills between Yannick and Jacques. The Beaulieu family are not some Texas
Chainsaw bunch of psychopaths but rather a dysfunctional family believing they
serve the greater ‘good’. In this sense they are not dissimilar to Bill Paxton’s character in the
much-underrated Frailty (2001) who
believed he was ridding the world of the wicked. Yannick’s introduction to the
family throws a spanner in the works. He is not a bad man, if anything Jacques
respects him more than his family, and so the question of what to do with him
acts as a catalyst that slowly gnaws at the rest of the family.

Tessier finds a sound pace and style to slowly bring the tension ever closer to
the surface. He has a knack for drawing us into Yannick’s frame of mind as he
begins to slowly unravel with only the same four walls to stare at. There are
some nice visual tricks that Tessier pulls off well; In one instance Yannick
sees the room slowly flooding with blood. However, his later flair of going
into Yannick’s mind during the chess games, which involve a washed out CGI
world, jars with the overall feel of the film.

looking incredibly like Gael Garcia Bernal, gives a solid performance of a man
determined to live but slowly going mad. But it is D’Amour as Jacques who
excels. Often the controlling father figure he is both raw and intricate. Only
when he slowly begins to unravel, as his chess moves fail him, do we begin to
see the monster inside rear its head.

gripping and original thriller Elm’s Way is hugely engaging with an ending that
makes it worth the slightly long running time. Refusing to conform to mainstream conventions Elm’s Way is an address
you should visit once and hope you don’t get trapped.

To Buy 5150 Elm’s Way On DVD Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

Previous Story


Next Story

Contributors – Emily Moulder

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Inside Out 2

Pixar’s output has for a while now been a little hit and miss. For every amazing Soul there was an underwhelming Lightyear. Returning to previous successes has also been a mixed bag

Forrest Gump Anniversary Steelbook Unboxing

2024 sees the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump celebrating its 30th anniversary. That’s 30 years of “Run, Forrest, run!” and “Life is like a box of chocolates…”. 30 years of that bench. How

Fire Country Season One Unboxing

Looking for your next binge? Look no further than Fire Country, the thrilling and addictive firefighting procedural from CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer Television. This action-packed series is far from prestige television, but

In a Violent Nature

Michael Myers. Jason Vorhees. Leatherface. And now, Johnny. Yes, In a Violent Nature’s grisly killer has quickly established himself as a new horror legend who will almost certainly become a cult favourite

Civil War Unboxing

Alex Garland’s harrowing dystopian vision Civil War was an unforgettable experience in the cinema – particularly IMAX – thanks to its stunning cinematography but more so that chilling sound design that gave
Go toTop