Michel (Laurent Lucas), a wayward French teacher, knows hardship since he lives in a desolate shanty and drives an un-air-conditioned jalopy. He knows frustration through his nagging wife, three whining children, opinionated parents and adolescent brother. And he knows underachievement, as he spends his days filling a large hole with dirt. But after an unexpected reunion with a high-school classmate, he knows inspiration, love and happiness because of the murderous and obsessed ways of his newfound "friend." Harry (Sergi Lopez), a sex-crazed insomniac with an innocent smile and a naive girlfriend who has a porn star's name and body to match, commits psychopathic slayings in between raw-egg rituals so Michel can return to his destined life as a writer. Though the film's slow pace and long takes cause impatience, writer-director Dominik Moll's Hitchcock-like style imposes a captivating and eerie tension on the characters' overtly normal daily lives.