Two lovers afraid of the seven-year itch are subjected to the cruel “Funny Games” of the person they think is their neighbor at an isolated vacation cottage in “Jealous,” an effective low-budget thriller from Quebecois newcomer Patrick Demers. Pic is a coherent though unoriginal item that should interest fests focusing on independent or genre fare, with an off chance of ancillary pickups.
A quarreling and mutually suspicious couple (Maxime Denommee, Sophie Cadieux) look forward to some time in the country to sort out their issues, but they haven’t counted on the seductive presence of the mysterious but attractive man (Benoit Gouin) whom they think occupies the cottage next door. He quickly ingratiates himself with the duo, with disastrous consequences. The three main thesps, co-credited with Demers for the screenplay, are convincingly naturalistic, as is their dialogue. Demers’ editing, which judiciously uses cross-cutting, sustains a sense of foreboding throughout, with the general atmosphere often more nerve-wracking than what’s actually onscreen. Lensing, with frequent shallow-focus shots, is well framed and makes full use of the forest and lakeside locations. “Jealous” is the onscreen title; press materials refer to the pic as “Suspicions.”