terrified | demian rugna | ariel chavarria | maximiliano ghione | norberto gonzalo | haunted | haunted house | ghost | ghosts | argentina | hugo halbrich | george l. lewis | aterrados | elvira onetto | agustin rittano | demian salomon | natalia senorales | julieta vallina
Film: Terrified (Aterrados)
Director: Demián Rugna
Writer: Demián Rugna
Starring: Ariel Chavarría, Maximiliano Ghione and Norberto Gonzalo
This film I originally had heard about on one of the podcasts I listen to. He spoke very highly of this film and it sparked my interest for sure. On top of that, it was part of one of the 31 Days of Halloween challenges I took on. The official synopsis for this film is when strange events occur in a neighborhood in Bueons Aires, a doctor specializing in the paranormal, her colleague and an ex police officer decide to investigate further.
I’m going to kick this review off that it really got to me. There aren’t a lot of films that do anymore, but this one ticks the boxes of things that personally affect me. I don’t really believe that there are ghosts or things to this nature that really haunt people, but there are certain films that trigger me. I was nervous going to bed after watching this one and I’ll get into why going forward.
We start off with a couple. The wife is supposed to start making dinner, but she stops and hears something coming from the sink. When her husband comes home, he is confused as to why dinner isn’t made, but he is curious when his wife says a voice was coming from the sink telling her to kill herself. The two go to bed and they hear pounding on the wall. He states the neighbor told him he was doing some remodeling and he’s annoyed his neighbor is doing it that late. His wife goes to take a shower. The husband goes outside to ring the bell and gets no answer. When he comes back inside, he realizes that it isn’t coming from next door, but his own bathroom. What he finds is pretty freaky.
What I also like about this film is that it shifts perspectives to show us others that are being affected by it as well. The husband from above is being kept in a mental hospital and three people come to visit him. They are paranormal investigators and one of them has seen something similar in the United States. They need the husband’s approval to do gather the data they need.
We then get to meet the neighbor who is being accused of hammering on his wall at night. He is having trouble falling asleep due to an entity moving his bed, unplugging his light and hiding in different spots in his room. He buys a camera to prove he isn’t crazy. He is also trying to contact a famous paranormal investigator, but she is too busy to see him. What is happening to him extends to the boy who is living across the street. Tragedy hits when this man tells him to leave his yard.
What really gets me about this film is that there are things appearing behind people and they feel the presence, but don’t know its there. I don’t know why, but for some reason that really unnerves me. The entity in this film is quite scary looking and it is the thing that is on the poster. It looks much creepier in the film in my opinion.
This film also introduces something I really like about perspective. It can be as simple as looking at something one way, you can’t see it. Moving slightly over and looking again something can be revealed. There are talks about alternative dimensions where this entity is coming from, so different perspectives are needed in order to reveal it. The concept of not everything you are seeing as being real is something else and it plays a lot into how this film concludes, which I also thought was really interesting.
Coming off of this, I want to talk about the editing. This film has a few jump scares and I’m not going to lie to you, two of them for sure made me call out. I don’t normally fall for them, but this one got me and it did it effectively. The running time isn’t long and it doesn’t waste time getting into this either. It is building tension from the opening sequence to the end. I also like how the stories are all edited together. It is similar to what you’d seen in The Grudge films where we aren’t getting it linear, but we are getting all angles and we can piece it together. I did have an issue with the final scene, but I’ll get into that when I touch on the effects.
The acting in the film I thought was pretty solid. I do apologize that I don’t know what actors and actresses played who, but I can say that it was all good across the board. The people who are being haunted have that worn out look to them. They can’t sleep and whatever is bothering them really is taking a toll on them. It was very believable. The main cop that we see was also good. He is tough in that he wants to protect those involved and his fear at what is happening is also very good.
As I alluded to earlier, the effects in the film I thought were really good. There is a scene in the bathroom that really unnerving for me. The creature in the film I don’t think is completely CGI, but I know it was touched up. There was a dead child in the film and his look was very well done. It was pretty amazing. I don’t really have much negative to say here. The final image I didn’t like and this was the only bad CGI, that’s all I could think of. They did some things that were creepy, the blood looked good and it definitely messed with me.
Now with that said, I think could be one of my favorite haunting haunted house films I’ve seen in awhile. The story is quite creepy. We are never really given an explanation which I found to be interesting. The concept of perspective and how all of these neighbors are intertwined I thought was really good. The acting helped to bring this film to life. Effects seemed to be mostly CGI, but they were used quite well. There was only one time that I had any issues and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Now I will warn that this film is from Argentina and I had to watch it with subtitles. If you can get past this, this was a pretty successful haunting film that had some effective jump-scares. I thought overall this was a very good film.
My Rating: 9 out of 10