Hearth (Foyer) [Short]

What Happens In Your Home When You're Not There?

by Laurie Delaire

9.5

THE QUICK SELL
When Emillie returns home after renting her house to strangers, we witness what actually happened during her absence

DIRECTED BY
Sophie B Jacques

WRITTEN BY
Sophie B Jacques

Running Time:
11mins

 
 

There is a lot of trust put in complete strangers when we rent our home. Mainly, the trust that they will keep everything intact, which, luckily, is easily verified (and punishable) once you come home.

But what about the rest? Have they respected your privacy? And really, what have they done while you were away? These things can never be found out, these fears never assuaged.

In Foyer (Heart in English), a thank-you letter awaits Emilie, Marilyn Castonguay (“Louis Cyr”, “Plan B”) as she comes home after renting her house to an older couple fond of travelling, Alice, Marianne Farley (“Imaginaerum”, “Marguerite” ) and Tom, Joël Marin (“La Passion d’Augustine”, “Séquelles”).

The house is as clean as when she left, each of her possession still in place, and the letter filled with praise: everything has gone well. At least, that is what Emilie imagines as she roams the rooms to inspect them – but the reality of the couple’s stay is far from the picture of innocence they want her to believe.

Foyer is the third short film of writer-director Sophie B. Jacques (“Jalon”, “Le Trou Normand”) and a great thriller, especially thanks to clever visual and sound ideas.

The reveal of what happened during the couple’s stay is done through inventive camerawork that creates seamless transitions between past and present, often making the two cohabit in the same space.

This brilliant mix of the two makes us feel more on edge as the couple seems to be invading Emilie’s home as she’s walking through it, the past literally violating the present as it leaves a permanent mark.

Besides this genius visual idea, the work on sound and editing adds rhythm and delivers a dark, eerie atmosphere that mesh perfectly with the story.

The soundtrack by Matthew Pusti (“Leaving Hope”, “Norad”) and Andy Walker, while conventional for a thriller, completes the rest to form a perfectly-executed thriller that achieves all of its aims in a tight 11 minutes run time.

The performances by the three main actors are great and completed by a fourth one, Guy Richer (“Trudeau”, “The Passenger”) who plays a new, oblivious guest.

With such a great direction and ideas, Foyer is well worth losing trust in any future guests renting your house for the holidays.

 

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