Director: Laura Aleva and Jose F. Ortuño
Writer: Laura Aleva and Jose F. Ortuño
Starring: Ángela Molina, Luis Bermejo and Iván Pellicer
This was a film that I sought out on Netflix when I was trying to find 2019 horror films. I made a goal to watch at least one a week and I was struggling. This caused me to stumble on to this film. I came in pretty blind, just knowing that it is considered horror. The synopsis is two recently graduated teens have to deal with growing apart. Álex’s (Clare Durant) friend Abraham (Iván Pellicer) gets his first girlfriend and she is isolated when stalked by a supernatural presence. The truth of what is happening is much darker than she realizes.
We kick this off with a little girl entering an apartment building. We hear some people fighting and she finds a boy sitting on the steps. He looks sad and we see that he has a broken yo-yo. She sits next to him and tells him that she can fix it. She also tells him that she can control her heart rate with breathing techniques.
The film then shifts 10 years later as they graduated from high school. This two have grown up. They are Abraham and Álex. They graduated from high school and are now trying to figure out what to do in life. Abraham gets invited to Anchi’s (Chacha Huang) graduation party and he’s excited. He has a crush on her.
Both of them go to the party, but when Abraham goes up to talk to her, Álex decides to leave. She sees a dark entity as she does and it spooks her. Once she gets home, she goes to take a shower. Earlier in the film we see she cuts herself and to hide it, she does this on her side right below her breasts. She gets into the shower and we see the dark entity approaching her. It pulls back the shower curtain and she is freaked.
The next morning Abraham calls her and asks her to come over for breakfast. She wants to tell him about what happened to her, but instead she asks how the night went with Anchi. He isn’t really forthcoming with information, but he does reveal that she doesn’t care for Álex. She isn’t surprised.
It is over there that we see Abraham’s parents aren’t doing well. Laura (Liz Lobato) is the mother and she does what she can to save it, but she is worn out. Her husband, Daniel (Luis Bermejo), only cares about his struggling business and ignores her. There’s been a lot of fighting and it has worn out Abraham. He actually has to see psychoanalyst to try to right the trauma of his youth and it is interesting that he reveals Anchi does too. As Abraham’s world crashes down around him, Álex is having issues of her own. When Abraham doesn’t want to hear about it, we learn the truth of what is really going on here.
As I stated earlier, I didn’t know anything about this film coming in and that is really what I try to do in most cases. I will admit that I thought I knew what the title of the film meant, as it is something that comes up in Assassin’s Creed video games, but I wasn’t entirely sure if that is what it meant.
This film though is interesting, because from Álex’s point of view, it is a ghostly type film. She is being haunted by this dark entity that looks like a woman. The interesting thing though is that it is a moving black silhouette. I assumed it was a woman due to its long hair. The actual model for this figure is Ángela Molina. The truth of what this haunting her was an interesting reveal.
My issue with it though comes from Abraham’s point of view, only because it is a troupe we are seeing a lot of this lately and it is getting to be a bit overplayed. I won’t be as harsh for this film, but that is because of what happens in the very beginning. It is something that can be quite common, especially when children have traumatic childhoods. Going back to the title of the film, it fully makes sense with a scene late in the film. I was really on board for it after that. This film is also great at making callbacks to things, which is good writing.
Another aspect I really like is Abraham is a horror movie fan. He has posts on his wall of classics. He also enjoys watching them. Some of the posters actually are metaphorical, which is even better. On top of that though, there is a carpet used in the film that is from The Shining. I also think we get an image from the movie on the television at one point. As a horror fan, I like these subtle call outs.
I do have to say the pacing of the film was good. I think a lot of that is in part due to the running time of 83 minutes. That is perfect though, because we aren’t given a lot of filler. The film moves along as it builds tension and reveals things. I will admit I figured out the ending right around the midway point, but then I was hoping that it would do something to re-engage me. I thought how it played out was fine, but I wasn’t in love with it. It is a decent twist on something we are seeing a lot these days.
The acting for this film was pretty good. Durant I thought was solid. She has her best friend, but we see that she has her own demons to deal with. She wants to be happy for Abraham as he has found a girlfriend. Since these two only really only have each other, she is depressed about being alone. Pellicer on the other hand though is really the catalyst of the film. What he is deal with is the most important part. I’m trying to be vague in a lot of this as I don’t want to spoil the film. The rest of the cast round out the film very well for what was needed as well.
Effects for the film were also pretty good. The entity that we see was quite creepy. How it moved was solid. They also decided to have it be behind Álex when she doesn’t realize it, which makes it that much creepier. The film was also shot very well and we get some interesting shots as it moves through air vents and around the building as well. This was pretty good aspect of the film.
Now with that said, this film was pretty solid. This was a fun watch as I got to really experience it without it being spoiled. It has an interesting subject matter of two teens who have just graduated and trying to deal with their broken lives. Seeing them cope with the structure of school ending and coming into adulthood is scary, even for those not deal with what they were. It has some interesting supernatural elements to it, even though it has a concept that is a bit played out. There is a solid twist on a concept that many people experience though, I do have to give it credit there. I thought the acting was really good and the effects with how it shot were pretty solid. The score of the film really didn’t hurt or help the film for me. I would say that overall, it is an above average film. I will warn you that it is a co-production from Spain and Belgium. It was in Spanish and I watched it with subtitles on. If that’s an issue, you might want to avoid this one.
My Rating: 7 out of 10