The eight years boy Jesús has been living in a crumbling underground facility since he was born with eight survivors of an apocalyptical war: the leader Maria and her lover Pablo; the gays ... See full summary »
The eight years boy Jesús has been living in a crumbling underground facility since he was born with eight survivors of an apocalyptical war: the leader Maria and her lover Pablo; the gays Lucas and Mateo; the astronomer Magdalena and the teenager Ana; the soldier Pedro and the lonely Judas. They are permanently is state of surveillance, threatened by the contaminated mutants The Strangers and once a day they have to lock themselves in their rooms without heating to protect against the dangerous ghosts The Invisibles that attack in the Cold Hour. They cannot go to the surface, destroyed by a nuclear war. When they need supplies, medications and ammunitions, they organize expeditions to a store. When the menace of The Invisibles affects the safety of the group of survivors, they need to reach the surface. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The tone and setting of "The Cold Hour" will instantly remind you of such genre milestones as George Romero's "Day of the Dead", Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later" and Ridley Scott's "Alien", but in his directorial debut, Elio Quiroga nevertheless manages to develop a very personal and unique atmosphere. This is more than just post-apocalyptic survival horror, it's a truly courageous drama that gathers relatively many characters in a very limited number of locations. And even though "The Cold Hour" introduces no less than TWO different types of hostile monsters, the battles against them are only secondary to the character drawings and the often complex relationships & vulnerable understanding between the 9 members of the underground community. The events that put them in this precarious situation are never properly explained, but the protagonists presumably are survivors of a devastating nuclear war that made it nearly impossible to live on the surface. Chemical warfare turned the majority of the population into contagious zombies, the Strangers, that wander around the surface and simply touching them is enough to transform into one yourself. Still, the bravest leaders of the group occasionally have to leave their underground lair in search for food and medication. The Invisibles form another and even greater danger, as they're ghosts that hunt once a day during the titular cold hour and spread frosty terror. There are a lot of things going on in "The Cold Hour", but there's very little on screen action or bloodshed. Still, the film doesn't feature a single boring moment as Elio Quiroga puts the emphasis on slowly brooding fear and desperation. You quickly develop sympathy & compassion for the identifiable characters and hope that at least some of them make it out of the adventure alive, but you also realize their chances are extremely slim and as good as hopeless. "The Cold Hour" ends with a, dare I say it, ... brilliant shot that suddenly and completely unanticipated alters everything you think you figured out about the story up until then! Regardless of what your personal opinion is on this shocking twist (either brilliant or disappointing) it definitely clarifies a lot and answers several questions that bothered you during the film. The film is beautifully photographed, with sober and depressing images of the survivor's pitiable living conditions, and the music is often enchanting. The cast is excellent, mainly featuring unknown but professional Spanish players, and even the child-actors were great. Elio Quiroga is currently traveling around the world to proudly present his film at several festivals, so if there's one near you, don't hesitate to see it in the theater. It's one of those films of which the emotional impact is even larger if you catch it on a big screen. Recommended!
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