Life is not going very well for brother and sister Maryse and Benoît Bossé. Maryse and her husband Alain have grown apart, and Maryse is worried about an accident which happened at work. Meanwhile Benoît, the eternal child, still lives with their widowed father, and his relationship with single mother Nathalie is being sabotaged by her son.
Side by side, father and son, husband and wife live their separate lives in a routine of familiar unease, almost as if the harsh Canadian winter – skillfully portrayed by Stéphane Lafleur – had also buried the emotions and energy of the characters under a blanket of snow. In En terrains connus the witty dialogue, the situation comedy and the tone of the music and sounds combine to convey an atmosphere somewhere between implosion and tension in an atmosphere of vague premonitions, intensified by the captions which divide the film into three chapters (Accident 1 to 3). It’s hard to imagine that things can get any worse. But when a messenger from the future arrives, the film, in which up to that point the only fast things were the snow mobiles, turns into a road movie. Maryse and Benoît leave their familiar grounds, and the question of how predictable the future actually is resolves itself on their journey.