This one of those films where the least known the better yet once into the film things begin to fall into place and the viewer will quite quickly work out where things are going.

Working in a cannery Stéphane (Laure Calamy) is also kicked out of her digs when her landlady’s daughter returns. To compound matters her lover (Suzanne Clément) is in jail for a couple of years and she’s facing financial ruin.
The idea strikes to try to wangle some money from a wealthy family headed Serge (Jacques Weber), pretending she’s his estranged daughter and assumes he barely remembers her.

The plan goes so far, convincing Serge though his wife Louise (Dominique Blanc), daughter George (Doria Tillier) are not quite so convinced, pressing her about her past and lack of ID. And while they are learning more about her, Stéphane is also picking up that the family has its own problems.

Its cleverly directed by Sébastien Marnier from his wordy script, co-written with Fanny Burdino. Also highly stylised with use of split screen and a score that on its own could be unlistenable though here manages to fit the visuals almost perfectly. Its arguable that this is style over substance as the story unfolds with a few twists yet there’s never much of doubt about how it will end.

It’s an oft told twisty tale of family intrigue, self-interest, greed and violence with the plot leading the action. As such it’s fairly character light with most being awful people and only one attracting any sympathy at all. And there’s an underlying threat throughout the film that is mainly down to Serge, a violent misogynist menacingly played by Weber.

It’s probably too long but the pacing ensures that attention doesn’t flag too often, and interest is sustained to the end of the film.

The Origin of Evil will be in UK cinemas from 29 March 2024.