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On an ordinary day in bustling downtown Madrid, life ticks over as usual, while inside a decrepit and noisy central bar, a motley assortment of common urbanites is killing time indolently, up until a loud gunshot sends chills down the spine. Out of the blue, now a man lies dead in front of the bar in a pool of blood, and then surprisingly, in broad daylight, another death follows. Where did that mysterious lethal bullet come from? Is this an act of terrorism or is there a solitary invisible sniper hidden on a roof? As hysteria prevails and the bodies miraculously vanish into thin air, the perplexed and terrified bar's regulars are bound to turn on each other, paranoid and suspicious of the potential assassin who might be hiding inside the place. Is there indeed a wolf among sheep?Written by
After the first 10 minutes, I thought I was watching a rehash of Quarantine (or its Spanish counterpart, REC), but boy, was I wrong.
Like the two aforementioned movies, El Bar also puts a bunch of random characters in an enclosed space then kills them off one by one. But unlike the other two, the main danger in El Bar doesn't come from external forces, but rather from the characters themselves as they start going insane and turning against one another.
Once that happens, El Bar reveals itself as a really tense and well-written psychological thriller. There's truly never a dull moment with this movie as it keeps reeling you in with new twists and turns that are both bizarre and wicked yet strangely logical. The thrill is then heightened with a amazingly fast-paced style of directing that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
The best thing, however, is that unlike many similar psychological thrillers, El Bar doesn't feel pretentious. It doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't try to take on more than it can. The director obviously just wants to entertain. Any conclusion, if there was ever any, is up to the viewers. And this movie sure as hell is entertaining.
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