Star rating – 7/10
Horror is not my film genre of choice by a long way, but on the back of relatively recent fantastic offerings such as ‘The Orphanage’, I braved the experience of this new Uruguayan scary film, and on balance, was very glad I did.
It is technically extremely engaging and proficient, as although it is relatively short on special effects - actually I don’t think there were any – the marvel of the piece is that it is shot in real time, in one take. That is some feat and must have taken a lot of working out in terms of angles and shots to achieve. It is the story of a teenage girl called Laura, and her father, who agree to help out a friend who is in the process of selling his remote and rather dilapidated house with no electricity by doing a bit of work on the garden to get it into a position for a sale. They settle down for the night in order to make an early start on the overgrown mess outside in the morning, but Laura can’t really settle, and soon starts hearing strange sounds coming from upstairs. The friend, who has left by this point, has warned them not to go upstairs as there are loose tiles there and it is dangerous.
What ensues, it has to be said, is very scary. Whenever I watch a horror film like this, which is not often, I just keep thing that the character should just run for their lives instead of staying to make a film to entertain the audience. But that just wouldn’t be cricket.
So Laura stays after the madness starts, and the friend returns. Laura is the main character, though she has little in the way of dialogue, but Florencia Colucci is excellent at keeping the suspense going as the terrified young woman.
The problem with it is that the plot twist is not really credible. When it comes it just leaves you rerunning the previous action in your head to check out if it stacks up. And it doesn’t really. The only way it could do would be via the old unreliable narrator trick – which is a bit of a cop out really. And the film’s claim that it is based on a true story is possibly a little bit of a porky pie. Or at least it is as much ‘based on’ a true story as Little Red Riding Hood may have been.
But it was enjoyable, it did make me jump, and it was scary. That together with marvelling at it as a technical achievement make it well worth catching. But please do stay after the final credits have rolled – you have been warned.