Review of Trauma

Trauma (II) (2017)
Extremely brutal and sick, but not great
27 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I'm still not quite certain how I should rate "Trauma". On one hand, I'm continuously on a quest to trace down the worlds' most graphically raw and shockingly sadistic horror/cult movies, and from that viewpoint "Trauma" is definitely a big fat winner. On the other hand, I find it somewhat hypocrite to state that the cruelty and sickness of the film got inspired by the violent history of the country (Chile during Pinochet's dictatorship) and then subsequently stuff it with gratuitous sex and extreme gore. Is Pinochet's regime responsible for spawning deranged incestuous bonds between psychopaths and their sons? I doubt that. Or is it his fault that lesbian sex sequences are exhibited in great detail?

Fundamentally, "Trauma" is a very basal and thus utterly clichéd & unoriginal horror film. Four girls from Santiago decide to spend a short holiday in the rural Chilean outback, basically in a region where it's totally irresponsible for attractive young women to travel to alone. They enter the turf of the barbaric Juan; - a man traumatized by the horrible things he witnessed and experienced during the Pinochet regime. Together with his own son, Juan entraps the four women and subjects them to a series of inhumanly sick and excruciatingly painful humiliations. You can't deny that "Trauma" is one of the vilest and most repulsive horror movies ever. Lucio A. Rojas' script may not be flawless, but he certainly knows how to generate a raw and disturbing atmosphere, and some of the special effects are unequaled in terms of gross details and anatomic accuracy. In this film, you truly see what damage a close-range bullet to a face causes, how acid burns through human flesh or how an antique wolf trap messes up a cute front. The flashbacks to the late 70s, back when Juan got turned into a monster by his father, are hardcore mortifying, but it's only a faint attempt to link the gritty film to a requiem for the dictatorship era.
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