This quietly devastating film is based on the real case of a student at Montreal’s technical college who opened fire on his female classmates then went on a killing spree around the school before shooting himself. This has become a familiar subject for cinema but, just as Gus Van Sant did with ‘Elephant’, Villeneuve has employed a striking visual style to offer a new perspective. The film’s horrifying sequence of events shot in black and white, with minimal dialogue is repeated several times, each from the unbearable viewpoint of a different character. One minute, this monochrome maelstrom draws us suffocatingly close to the centre of the atrocity, the next, long shots of shiny white corridors stained with puddles of black blood create a more abstract, artistic impression. A tough watch, but as beautiful as it is disturbing.