La Casa Muda
When Laura (Florencia Colluci) and her father (Gustavo Alonso) go to help their friend Nestor (Abel Tripaldi) repair his derelict cottage, they stay the night and Laura ends up trapped in the house with an unseen killer who murders her father, and while investigating discovers some shocking secrets.
Shot in one continuous take the film's narrative is told in real time. Technically this is a good achievement, and one can only accredit how well it is done to Cinematographer Pedro Luque, who uses a handheld camera and walks with the actors, which works very well as we see the entire narrative almost from Laura's perspective, then Nestor's towards the end. On the one hand this could have been done better, as the fact that the Cinematography gets so shaky and even blurry in some sequences does make the narrative feel more like a dream than a horrific true story - the events the film is apparently based on took place over 60 years earlier, but the tale sounds more like a myth than fact.
However, with the narrative being told in real time the film ends up suffering the same problem as Alfred Hitchcock's Rope did 62 years earlier, as the screenplay becomes dragged out and filled up with some very slow moving and pointless scenes, which like some of the scenes in Rope, were most likely only written so that the film would get a reasonable running time. What starts off with the potential to be quite a tense and gritty horror - thanks to a reasonably tense score composed by Hernán González, and a house that is designed to look like your typical haunted house - ends up just becoming another low budget attempt at a frightener which doesn't frighten that much as Fragile (2005) and Furnace (2006) were before it.
The number of scenes which are pointless and poorly paced result in the film becoming more of a boar than a frightener, and with the number of anti-climactic scenes one just ends up not taking the film at all seriously, and becomes very conscious of its faults. As for the film's twist at the end, it is so poorly written, and not well realized, with so little of the film's running time dedicated to it that by the time it is done it is simply a poor ending to a ridiculous story.
A promise of technical achievement, this film has not much more going for it, and half the film ends up being Laura creeping or running around in hysterics, in what becomes a fairly ridiculous and very flawed piece of film making, although it is fair to say that it is the best that could be done with its low independent budget.
Spanish with Subtitles.
Stars: Florencia Colluci, Abel Tripaldi, Gustavo Alonso, María Salazar.