Cinema/TV, Film Notes

Film review – Terror 5

My notes on Terror 5, an Argentinian horror film out on US digital platforms April 2.

This Argentinian anthology horror is, as usual for the format, a bit of a mixed bag … it’s consistently creepy, but also fairly irritating, and the stratagem of following one self-contained episode with four more that intercut diffuses rather than heightens tension, though there are some reasonably smart connections between the strands.  More of a problem is that none of the pieces are really stories – supposedly based on urban legends, they feel more like uncompleted anecdotes with characters who aren’t really introduced but still get to rabbit on until gruesome stuff happens, leaving us little the wiser as to who they were and how they relate to each other.  The de facto frame story is the only outright supernatural tale, and it’s an EC horror comics bit about how the victims of a construction disaster rise from the grave as neon-eyed zombies to get revenge on the politicians who have just been exonerated in the official enquiry – though a bus driver gets in the way, and delivers a speech to the main fat cat creepo before attacking him so thoroughly the zombies don’t have much to do.

One other piece, about a guy looking for a hook-up while chatting with his buddy, leads to a possibly monstrous finish, and the other efforts are all the sort of torture porn/snuff movie/people-being-horrible business that peaked in horror films around ten years ago.  Two couples on dates get down to the nasty, whether it be torturing someone or starring in a snuff movie produced by the rubber-masked ‘Mr X’, while the most drawn-out segment has a guy in KISS make-up needling a chubby virginal fellow at a party with three girls in fancy dress, leading to a psycho freakout.  It has some nice nighttime city scenes, and probably relates to specific Argentine news items – but all the performances are pitched a little too hysterical, with the default setting of any personal interaction being simple obnoxiousness even before the hammer falls on the face and the bottle stabs into the neck.  Written by Sebastian Rotstein and Nicolas Gueilburt; directed by Sebastain and Federico Rotstein.




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