‘The Chalet’

A single series French crime thriller, The Chalet is a captivating tale as, set in the remote village of Valmoline in the French Alps, a reunion of friends for a wedding goes tragically wrong.

Only a few people remain in the dying town. The renovated chalet and hoped for associated tourism is the last hope. But Valmoline has a history with the sudden disappearance of the Rodier family twenty years earlier. The past and the present collide as old jealousies and animosities come to the fore, made more apparent when the village finds itself cut-off from the rest of the world.

Interweaving events from that past and present, former childhood best friends Alice (Agnès Delachair) and Manu (Marc Ruchmann) find themselves as adults once more pitted against the arrogant bullying Sébastien (a splendid yellow Porsche-driving Nicolas Gob), an unexpected attendant at the reunion. The stunning but threatening mountainous backdrop adds a sense of dread as the older residents recall the dramas of the past as the reunited school friends are confronted with deadly events.

The Chalet is a gloriously complicated weave that looks beautiful (scenery, cast, mis-en-scene) and keeps you enthralled and, importantly, guessing. Local bar owner Muriel Personnaz (Chloé Lambert) and brother Phillipe (Philippe Dusseau) are central to both timeframes and connect the narratives that inevitably merge in the explanation.

Rating: 75%