I was lucky enough to get to see this movie last night as part of the Milwaukee Film Fest. I have to admit that I didn’t really know a lot about the film beforehand, other than hearing little bits about it here and there on various websites. The synopsis seemed cool, so my fiancee and I decided it’d be part of the films we see this year. The story centers on a young Mexican couple who lose their children after they go off wandering near a cave. The next day, the children come back, but something terrible has happened and the film spends the rest of the time with the parents trying to figure out just what their children have gone through
It eventually becomes highly evident to the parents that their children were sexually abused during their time missing and they set out on a quest for revenge. I’m not going to go into a lot of details of the movie because I know a lot of you haven’t seen it yet, and part of the enjoyment of the film relies on the nature of surprise. It’s kind of a cross up between Chan-wook Park (Oldboy) films mixed with 70’s Satanic cinema. Director Adrian Garcia Bogliano (The ABC’s of Death — B is for Bigfoot) does a great job of making a film full of unsettling ideas and circumstances which translates to an oppressive experience for the viewer, but it eventually runs out of steam towards the end. This sucks for the viewer because most everything that came before was pretty awesome. Though flawed it is a film that shows a great deal of promise from the director, and with a better ending (I know how I would have done it) it could have been an instant classic.
There is copious amounts of nudity (the MILF gets naked very 15 minutes or so) and the film opens up on a pair of lesbians having sex. It almost feels like a (M)exploitation film in that every female above 18 is there to get naked at some point during the film. And for the most part, Bogliano does it in a way to serve the plot, rather than be nudity for the sake of it, so kudos to him. As far as gore goes, there is one extremely violent scene that reminds me of the best works of Tom Savini. It’s seriously that vicious and squirm inducing.
Although it has quite a bit of flaws and the use of the zoom lens gets to be a bit obnoxious, it’s not a bad film, but it is a disappointing one. Bogliano has a great film in him and hopefully his time on this one will allow him to reach that brass ring. Don’t let my feelings dissuade you from seeing this though, it’s well worth the watch.