Saturday, August 3, 2013
Directed By: Nicolas Lopez
Written By: Nicolas Lopez, Eli Roth & Guillermo Amodeo
Cinematography By: Antonio Quercia
Editor: Diego Macho Gomez
Cast: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvart, Ariel Levy, Natasha Yarovenko, Lorenza Izzo, Nicolas Martinez
After an earthquake erupts in Chile, tourist discover that a neighboring prison in the area collapsed in the event, and all surviving criminals managed to break free. Soon they learn that the most terrifying thing, more threatening that Mother Nature, is what she created.
The film was originally rated NC-17, but had to be cut and re-edited in order to get a R Rating.
Now this film could have easily gone the wrong way and been schlocky. The longer the film plays and you watch the more impressive it becomes as it truly shows you the terror and danger of the various situations, while setting up a time limit as an impending doom worse then anything they encounter physically and personally might be coming.
The film feels at times to just be punishing it’s characters just to do it. While it’s no torture porn. It’s quite cruel, but maintains a certain reality while also following certain genre rules and tropes.
No one comes out of the film clean. They all end up becoming victims in some way, shape or form.
The first act sets up the characters as we get to know them and see them enjoying their vacation setting up group dynamics, Relationships and friendships. It works as act 2 and 3 then unspools and we feel more of a connection to the characters. We find ourselves caring about their fates. It feels like a continuation of co-writer, co-producer, co-star Eli Roth’s other horror films. Where a trip to a foreign locale, We see the fun and pursuit of sex that often backfires and leans towards comedic. Then all of a sudden moves into horror pretty quickly. Here it feels like a more mature version of it. I have to give both credit. I feel he is growing his talent more and this helps represent a new found maturity. It shows.
None of the leads is completely evil or completely good. They do what they have to do to survive.
The film does reek of a B-Movie aesthetic at times. Mainly due to the disaster aspects.
There are no sacred cows as the film sets itself up pretty early, That anyone can be taken out and killed. Which helps throw the audience off as you never are quite sure how far it will go nor what can and can’t happen. Just general randomness Through many challenges no one great villain just have to survive. No stalking monster though the tsunami warnings give the characters incentive to rush the experience and keep moving while working against the calamities.
The film shows what can be scarier then a natural disaster is the citizen’s reactions.
Of course the casting of Eli Roth in the lead and him being a producer and co-writer. He will be accused of having this film be just another extension of his ego or just another project for him to star in. A vanity project almost as he has cameoed in his films and in others. Though the film doesn’t leave him in a heroic light. He does fine with the material
What sometimes disturbs me in films is that whenever it is more of a minority culture. When tings breakdown. They are always shown as the looters, Gangs and rapists. Where as Caucasians are usually the heroes or the victims. Rarely do we see them along as the ones going crazy and being just as bad unless it’s past apocalyptic. Where they are the organized villains, part of a hierarchy. Here it happens in a foreign locale and directed and co-written by a native of chile where it is filmed
Nicolas Lopez who I am a fan of ever since seeing the preview of the film PROMEDIO ROJO. 9 years ago and then finally seeing it last year. He has a vision and while the film includes a scene of the thing I hate most in films (Rape) it’s not as graphic as it could have been or still disturbing.
This is a bleak downtrodden tale that I have to say I found exceptional then what I thought it would be or easily could have become, truthfully the preview made this film look like a syfy original film. Thankfully it’s much better.
Why does it seem like in films Caucasians go to a foreign locale a mishap happens and instantly the people usually minorities become savages.We worry about these poor white foreigners in a distant land, Though never the citizens.
It’s a movie to seek out more if you are a genre fan.