Santi, a young high-school student with a serious physical reaction to sunlight, is forced by his health to move with his single mother to a shadowy, isolated village in the mountains of ...
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Santi, a young high-school student with a serious physical reaction to sunlight, is forced by his health to move with his single mother to a shadowy, isolated village in the mountains of Spain where the inhabitants begin to reveal themselves as strangely xenophobic. When terrible, violent events begin to occur, Santi becomes first a pariah at school and then strongly suspected by the police of hideous murders. Santi himself, however, wonders if he is not the next victim.Written by
Horror is the only genre I feel nostalgic about. I fondly remember the days when I trawled through the horror bins of the local video store, marvelling at the outrageous covers promising unspeakable oddities not meant for the regular, god-fearing folk; Ze do Caixao, Nurse Sherri, Ilsa, I Drink your Blood, it was all there. The covers and ballyhoos were usually misleading, but the tingle of excitement out the store clutching the next film was the same every time. But for every five or six Nurse Sherris there came a Cannibal Holocaust to tear me asunder.
So I hadn't been in a video store in ages, and I got the craving the other day. I went down and trawled like I did then; only now the collection was small and mostly recent films. Yet lo and behold, the experience was just the same. Another mess, avidly promoted as a searing experience that I would not forget.
City people moving to a small village in the county surrounded by ominous forests, the village as a hotbed of dark secrets buried deep - within the woods -, mystery pursued through a google search that yields the crucial clue, and the revelation meant to throw us for a loop; a bunch of well-worn tropes mashed together into shapeless murk.
We're left with the dark forest and some time-lapse photography of shifting skies. But the forest means nothing, the skies mean nothing, and the shocking twist is plodding and stupid.
So lately the Spanish - probably inspired by Del Toro's well-received, Spanish-speaking efforts abroad - have been working out a genre industry of their own. They turned to horror, always a profitable market. I've seen very few of these to pass judgement, but what I've seen so far has been mostly crap. I lament this, because the essence of their world is religious suffering and so much could come from it. No, not Del Toro.
Watch this to be reminded again that you can make a better movie.
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