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Painless (2012)

Insensibles (original title)
Set in Catalonia, Painless weaves two stories: in one, starting during the Spanish Civil War and running through to the '60s, an asylum attempts to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David (as Àlex Brendemühl)
Ilias Stothart ...
Benigno niño
Mot Harris Dunlop Stothart ...
Benigno adolescente (as Mot Stothart)
Dr. Holzmann
Ramon Fontserè ...
Dr. Carcedo
Sílvia Bel ...
Bea Segura ...
Adán Martel mayor
Adán Martel joven
Clara Martel
Bruna Montoto ...
Inés niña
Inés adolescente


Set in Catalonia, Painless weaves two stories: in one, starting during the Spanish Civil War and running through to the '60s, an asylum attempts to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, by teaching them physical suffering. In the second, in the present time, a brilliant neurosurgeon who needs a bone marrow transplant, discovers this dark past when he searches for his biological parents. Written by Authors

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Release Date:

10 October 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Painless  »

Box Office


€3,520,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Brilliant terror film dealing with two stories : a surgeon who discovers his dark past and an asylum with weird little boys
31 March 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Creepy film builds tension by showing virtually astonishing frames , unsettling musical score and appropriate sets . Mystery , terror , and intriguing flick concerns about two alternating stories that end up being the same along with inter-crossed roles filled with internal conflicts and discoveries . In one, in the present time , a neurosurgeon called David Martel (Alex Brendemühl), urgently needs a bone marrow transplant , and he is exhaustively seeking clues about his past . During his quest , he finds strange conclusions , as David will exhume terrifying secrets . As Martel moves to a far-off place lost in the mountains and a series of odd events will shock him when he searches for his biological parents . The only way to heal his illness will be disclosing the terrible secret a sanatorium hides . The second story set at the dawn of the Spanish civil war , a group of children , insensitive to pain , is locked in a sanatorium ruled by Dr. Holzmann (Derek De Lint) and Dr. Carcedo (Ramon Fontserè) in the heart of the Pyrenees . There is an isolated , shadowy asylum located on mountains of Catalonia, starting in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War , and running through to the '60s, and at this place inhabits some children without serious physical reaction . But horrible , violent deeds begin to occur and hideous murders take place.

Spanish horror film set in Catalonia full of thrills , suspense , chills and creepy twists and turns . ¨Painless¨ weaves two stories , the one in current days, in which an expert neurosurgeon , well played by Alex Brendemhul , discovers that he has a tumour and start searching for his biological parents to get a bone marrow transplant necessary for his survival and on the other hand an asylum run by two doctors , finely performed by Derek De Lint and Ramon Fontserè , as they attempt to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, by teaching them physical suffering . This scary , bizarre film contains tension , thriller drama , mystery , plot twists and shocks , including decent scares with tense terror sequences especially in its final part , in a creepy denouement . A Spanish-French co-production with a timeline that spans decades the film is a thriller that begins in the days of the Spanish Civil War and goes on through until the current day . ¨Painless¨ or ¨Insensibles¨ suffers from some sputtering about a quarter of the way in , the sputtering came from a complete change in story direction, away from the spectacular beginning and toward a very complex story line , one which suffers from some slow-moving scenes . Interesting screenplay by the same director revolving the mental disintegration of a neurosurgeon and the various amazing surprises he finds . The motion picture is pretty well , although sometimes deliberate pacing and packs a lot of turns ; however is entertaining for continuous suspense and unsettling atmosphere . The picture is thrilling and some moment brilliant, and the players are quite reliable . Ghastly movie builds taut by showing virtually well staged set pieces , evocative settings , adequate soundtrack and rousing cinematography . Few disagree that the film is professionally mounted , the performances solid , and that it respectfully carries on the tradition of Spanish "horror" films like The Devil's Backbone , Pan's Labyrinth , Eskalofrio and The Orphanage , borrowing several elements here and there . Colorful cinematography by Alejandro Martinez showing splendidly mountains , sanatorium , and villages from Pyrenees , Montserrat , Catalonia , Spain , Spain . Alejandro Martínez is one of the best Spanish cameramen with international career as he has demonstrated in "Automat¨, ¨Wen¨, ¨Stay alive¨, ¨Hierro¨, ¨First Born¨, ¨Blackout¨, among others . Eerie as well as frightening musical score by Johan Söderqvist who has composed for successful films as ¨Let the right one in¨ , ¨Bron¨, ¨In a better world¨, ¨After the wedding¨, "King of Devil's Island" and ¨Kon-Tiki¨ .

This is a motion picture displaying genuine chills , suspense, mystery and dark atmosphere and twisted finale , being skillfully proceeded by Juan Carlos Medina and turned out to one of the most unusual Spanish thrilling movies of 2010 and certainly one of the most unsettling . Juan Carlos Medina is a good director and writer, known for ¨Painless¨ , his only and most successful film , he previously directed shorts . ¨Insensibles¨ premiered in CinEuphoria Awards : Best Costume , Design , Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects Best Editing and best filmmaker . Furthermore , in Sitges , Catalonian International Film Festival 2012 was Nominated Best Motion Picture . Juan Carlos Medina is set to direct the crime-thriller "Dan Leno and The Limehouse Golem" , the story follows a Jack the Ripper-style serial killer nicknamed the Limehouse Golem.

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