Caché

Caché

Creepy drama about an upper-middle-class couple (played by Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche) who start receiving, on their doorstep, mysterious videotapes taken of their home. (Shades of David Lynch's Lost Highway, only without the surrealism.) While innocuous enough in and of themselves, the tapes convince the couple that they are being stalked.

Moreover, the tapes are often accompanied by crude drawings of grisly images - a chicken getting its throat cut, a young boy bleeding from the mouth. The images are disturbingly familiar to Auteuil, and he begins to suspect that the person behind this is a childhood acquaintance of his - someone whom he had wronged over 40 years earlier. But is it? Caché never fully lets on, even if the realistic explanation is that there is indeed a connection.

Austrian director Haneke is no stranger to sadism - his best-known films Funny Games and The Piano Teacher are both extremely harsh - and I get a feeling that Caché's psychological torture comes from Haneke's desire to punish a self-satisfied protagonist, rather than from any conflict between the characters themselves. Unlike his earlier features, though, the violence here is muted (and almost - but definitely not quite - nonexistent), the cruelty subtle.

Slow-moving and ultimately inscrutable, Caché may be off-putting to some. Personally it wasn't my cup of tea, though I will acknowledge it as a tense, unsettling film from an interesting director whose talents remain generally underappreciated outside of European film circles.