Genre : Horror
Country : Spain
Ingrid Garcia Jonsson : Alicia
Bruno Sevilla : Simon
Oriol Tarrida Homedes : El Liquidador
Director : Rafa Martinez
A Spanish horror / slasher / thriller about the phenomenon of forcibly removing elderly people out of their homes by criminal real estate agents, who’ll use that space to build luxurious apartments. That’s what you’ll read at the beginning of the film. Strange but true, the used language during the entire film is English (apart from a few harsh Spanish swear words). For once, I wished it was Spanish. Not only because I find Spanish a delicious sounding language but also because it would benefit the authenticity of this film. What really terrifies me is the fact that these evictions really happen there. Apparently there were more than 46,000 evictions in 2012. That’s more than 500 a day. Terrible! I don’t know if they use the same technique as in “Sweet Home”. I hope not, of course.
Ultimately it’s just a stupid movie. Full of stupid decisions, stupid coincidences and probably the dumbest Spanish girl you can find in that sunny country. She’s one of those girls who drops her cell phone or flashlight at the most crucial moments of course (I’m forcing myself not to start about her being blond). I’m aware that these kind of incidents always occur in this type of movie. But every time I’m annoyed by it and I start to say things like “Oh come on” and “Not again, stupid cow“. And also, this is the strangest building ever. It fitted the mood and was ideal as a background and setting for this movie. But still I thought there was something weird about it. It’s an old, dilapidated building and most residents already left (voluntarily or horizontally with their feet first). But those rotten doors seem to be soundproof. Apparently no one on the first floor could hear the rattling with the front door and the loud shouting through the mailbox. And when help arrived (in the form of El Liquidador. Nice chilling name) who took care of the victims by using some kind of chemical substance in order to reduce them to dust material and vacuum it away, they were having a friendly conversation on the other side of the hall door. Strange architecture over there in Spain.
The most annoying thing in this film, is the story on its own. I expected more. I was just looking at the screen sheepishly and patiently I waited to see how it would end. That’s it. It’s far from being exciting. Besides two bloody scenes, there’s not much blood to see on the screen. Only when El Liquidado arrives, it gets a bit more exciting. For a short while that is. He’s some kind of ultimate solution to straighten out a situation that got out of hand. But haven’t we seen this before? Such a rugged, muscular guy who routinely does the dirty work. Usually such a person is moving forward in such a nerve-racking slow pace, while dragging along a huge ax. That’s nothing new under the sun. Before you know it, you get a cat and mouse game. And most of the time you can easily guess the outcome. Except in this film. But what was this “Saw” -like end? It was as if I suddenly watched a complete different movie.
Isn’t there anything positive to report? Yes of course there is. The location where the whole story takes place looks absolutely stunning (as said before). A gorgeous old building ideal to play hide and seek. A unique and scary place perfect to film a struggle to the death. The camera angles used by the director were sometimes impressive. For instance the excerpts while the rain is pouring down. Or those images of the staircase. Simply gorgeous. But otherwise it was just as bland as a paella without any spices. Everyone dreams of buying a Spanish hacienda at an older age and enjoy the Spanish sun. After seeing this film, I wisely decided to accept the bad, cold weather of Belgium.