Despite efforts to emulate (and sometimes outright imitate) a handful of Hitchcock's best movies, Franco-Swiss thriller "Beyond Suspicion" is not quite beyond "Suspicion" or anything else by the Master of Suspense.

Despite efforts to emulate (and sometimes outright imitate) a handful of Hitchcock’s best movies, Franco-Swiss thriller “Beyond Suspicion” is not quite beyond “Suspicion” or anything else by the Master of Suspense. Scribe-helmer Gabriel Le Bomin’s sophomore effort — about a young couple scamming a widower out of his family fortune — is packed with twists, reversals, double-crosses and back-stabbings, none of which seem remotely believable, since they’re administered by characters whose motivations are murky at best, ridiculous at worst. This sleepy August release will reach few foreign correspondents outside Francophone lands.

Adapted from Tanguy Veil’s novel, the Geneva-set narrative follows Sam (Marc-Andre Grondin) and Lise (Laura Smet), twentysomethings who decide to get rich by having Lise marry an auctioneer (Charles Berling) traumatized by his first wife’s, er, accidental death. Some plan: Not only is hubby no dupe, but he has an evil adopted brother (Gregori Derangere) who keeps showing up when the plot requires another MacGuffin. Borrowing at will from “Rebecca” and “Vertigo,” and featuring a score filled with Bernard Herrmann mash-ups, this slickly shot derivative has none of Hitchcock’s finesse, and even less of his humor.

Beyond Suspicion

France-Switzerland

Production

A StudioCanal (in France) release of a Film Oblige, StudioCanal, CAB Prods., Rhone-Alpes Cinema, La Television Suisse Romande production, in association with Cofinova 6, Coficup, Backup Films, Soficinema 6, La Banque Postale Image 3, Uni Etoile 7, Cinemage 4, RTBF Television Belge, with participation of Canal Plus, CineCinema, TPS. (International sales: StudioCanal, France.) Produced by Marc de Bayser, Frank Le Wita. Directed by Gabriel Le Bomin. Screenplay, Le Bomin, Olivier Gorce, based on the book "Insoupconnable" by Tanguy Viel.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Pierre Cottereau; editor, Bertrand Collard; music, Fabian Romer; production designer, Nicolas de Boiscuille; costume designers, Celine Guignard. Reviewed at UGC Cine Cite Les Halles 12, Paris, Aug. 5, 2010. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Marc-Andre Grondin, Laura Smet, Charles Berling, Gregori Derangere, Dominique Reymond, Francis Perrin, Gabriele Bazzichi, Dominique Favre-Bulle, Gaspar Boesch.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more