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Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Terrified

My notes on Aterrados (Terrified)

This Argentine Insidious-type horror film from writer-director Demian Rugna is unusual in that it features a haunted street (rather than confining its spookiness to a single house), which prompts the fracturing of  its narrative into micro-stories (a little like the Grudge films).  One of the investigators realises that these hauntings depend on point of view – look under the bed from one side and there’s nothing there, lift up the mattress and a bald many-limbed spectre lurks … and the best jump scare involves a mannequin-like figure seen through some panes of a window but not others.  The story works like that too – often showing anecdote-like tense scenes then pulling back to reveal how they’re perceived from outside the house in question.  One man is perturbed by banging pipes (shades of Ghostwatch) which threaten his wife, but his neighbour is mostly worried by the crack in their shared wall he puts down to early morning renovations.

 

A flurry of blatant paranormality – including a levitation attack in the bathroom, the mangled manifestation of a little boy hit by a bus, and various temporal disolcations – leads Comisario Funes (Maxi Ghione), a cop who lives on the street, to call in veteran (and sinister) paranormal investigators – including Mora Albreck (Elvira Onetto) and Rosenstock (George Lewis) – to apply their varied techniques to the situation, but they only make things worse … and almost everyone comes to a bad end.  The spaghetti tangle of storylines doesn’t really get sorted out, but it has a sickly, unsettling look and impressive, aggressive manifestations.  Long arms reach out of cracks to snap necks … something magnetic in a kitchen cupboard attracts cutlery, spearing someone’s hand to the underside so it can draw up the blood … desperate, but vicious ghosts are folded into cupboards or under the bed.  Effectively spooky stuff.

 

Here’s the FrightFest listing.

Here’s a trailer.

 

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