Lemming Starring: Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, Andre Dussolier Director: Dominik Moll The film: In Dominik Moll's previous film, Harry, He's Here to Help, a man ingrains himself in the lives of a middle-class couple with increasingly blood-curdling consequences. In Lemming, an intruder is again at the centre of proceedings - albeit in the shape of a Scandinavian rodent which clogs the drains in the kitchen of a mild-mannered mechanical engineer Alain (Laurent Lucas) and his even-tempered wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The bizarre appearance of the lemming occurs on the same evening as the couple's dinner with Alain's boss Richard (Andre Dussolier) and his glacial wife Alice (Charlotte Rampling, below). The meal descends into farce, the characters barely touching their salads before the elder couple becomes embroiled in a bitter dispute where Alice reproaches her husband for his infidelity and paying for sex. To reveal more about Lemming would take the shine off the pleasure of second-guessing what's to come next in a story that shifts gear from black social satire to psychological thriller before eventually veering into the realm of the supernatural. Moll's ingenious storyline is well-assisted by his deftness at keeping the bubbling tensions among the characters under control. For all the strange denouements and menacing sexuality on show, the film never opts for the easy option of explosive melodrama. Combining the scything critique of bourgeois codes of demeanour that filmmaker Michael Haneke has nearly made his own - the glacialised emotions here mirror the characters in The Seventh Continent or Hidden - with moments that recall the best scenes from Alfred Hitchock and Claude Chabrol, Moll has delivered a film that is both easy on the eye but not for the faint-hearted. While Lucas' performance as the emotionally repressed Alain is superb, Lemming resounds to what could be described as the battle of the Charlottes. With her trademark frostiness, Rampling is at her eerie best as the icy interloper who wreaks havoc on her young acquaintances. Gainsbourg, meanwhile, matches her on-screen nemesis (and later, accomplice-of-sorts) blow by blow, embodying perfectly Benedicte's volte-face towards a corporeal metamorphosis. The extras: A very effective package, including an extensive interview with Moll, reveals the symbolic meanings that lie within Lemming. Short featurettes allow for an exploration of the film's technical aspects, (for example, in how to depict hordes of lemmings, or how some of the scenes were rehearsed and developed) with input from Moll, screenwriter Gilles Marchand as well as Gainsbourg and Lucas. The verdict: A stunningly unnerving film that could rank with the best of the psychological thrillers to come out of Europe in recent years.