FrightFest review – Y todos Ardéran (Everyone Will Burn)
This complicated, impressive Spanish horror film is set in a small town where – local legend has it – once a righteous mob prevented the apocalypse by destroying a demon child, and the townsfolk seem to have picked up a taste for persecuting outsiders and to be eagerly intent on going through the whole thing again. Lucía (Sofía García), a little girl with dwarfism, walks out of the wilderness and is adopted by brittle, eccentric María José (Maraena Gómez), whose young son was bullied to suicide some years earlier – a crime which went unpunished because the chief perpetrator was the Mayor’s son. Lucía manifests Damien/Carrie-type supernatural powers – spontaneously combusting a couple of cops who hassle María José and casting cold eyes on a range of other bullies, establishment hypocrites, connivers and gutless wonders. It’s a riff on The Omen where Damien is in the right, but the focus of the film is on Gómez – the star of the aptly-named Sexykiller – as a character who might have come out of an Almodovar movie … a putupon divorcée who alone has shouldered the burdens of grief and guilt, but also a style icon and a potential furious avenger. It takes its time to illustrate the Peyton Place-style shortcomings of everyone in town and to tease out the backstory, then builds to a satisfying apocalypse (its plot might have been modelled on Dogville as much as, say, The Day of the Beast). Written by Javier Kiran and director David Hebrero.
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