David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s Them uses, as its basis, [spoilers follow] a killing spree perpetrated by a group of French kids between the ages of 10 and 15. The youthfulness of its villains is, I presume, supposed to make its story more chilling, though the opposite unfortunately holds true. Once it becomes clear that schoolteacher Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy) and boyfriend Lucas (Michaël Cohen) are being stalked by middle-schoolers, it’s hard not to feel embarrassment for them, two adults who can’t kick the crap out of a bunch of filthy, scampering punks whose main scare tactic is the use of a children’s rattling toy. Then again, Clémentine and Lucas are the types of dim-witted horror protagonists who eagerly separate from each other to investigate areas where they’re bound to be sitting ducks, who scream instead of silently hiding, and who barrel forward with all the thoughtfulness of a donkey tumbling down a flight of stairs. Directors Moreau and Palud stage a thrilling sequence in which the duo escape from their isolated, rural Bucharest house – which is randomly preyed upon by pint-sized hooded attackers in the dead of night – as well as a mildly taut final chase. Yet given that it forces one to root for dolts incapable of properly assessing their traumatic situation, as well as affects a based-on-a-true-story guise while indulging in stale genre clichés (such as an attic room decorated in Halloween-borrowed flapping sheets), the film is mostly an exercise in frustration.