Having seen such French delicacies as Them (2007), Frontiers (2007), Inside (2007), and (of course) Martyrs (2008), I was interested to see how French horror stacked up at the beginning of the last decade. A bit of searching around led to Trouble Every Day, and when I saw Béatrice Dalle listed in the cast, I didn't hesitate. If you thought Dalle was sinister in Inside, I urge you to check her out in this one. Zut Alors!
Unfortunately, Dalle's superb execution of a dangerously troubled woman doesn't save the film as a whole. The pace is reminiscent of In My Skin (2002); nothing happens until fifty-eight minutes have dragged by. And, yeah, those minutes drag because the film is creating a mood of discomfort while slowly leading to the big shock scenes; but the lead-up was severely damaged in that we are shown exactly what everything will culminate to at roughly the twenty-five minute mark. Not that I was hoping for some big twist or anything, but it's kind of hard to enjoy a slow-burn when you're shown at the beginning what it all leads to.
I still give it a B- not just on merit of Dalle, but also because the film showcased an ability to perfectly mix hyper-realism, splatter, and discomfort evinced in more recent French fare. There were only two scenes that put the film in the horror genre, and those two scenes were strong, hinting at what was to come. Had I watched Trouble Every Day before all the others, I might have been more impressed. Oh, well. I'm looking forward to whatever the French have in store for us this decade, wondering whether a movie will ever affect me the way Martyrs did.