Viewed – 12 November 2011 Blu-ray
Normally when a movie uses a well-known director’s name above the title, followed by ‘presents’ it’s usually a reason to steer clear. These movies often pale in comparison to said movie director’s actual work, but use his/her name to make back their money. No such concerns here though, as although the movie has the endorsement of Guillermo Del Toro, it’s easily as good as anything that director has previously delivered.
The talented Belen Rueda (The Orphanage) plays Julia, a woman with a degenerative sight disease who finds out her estranged twin sister has committed suicide. Believing there is more to her sister’s death than everyone else believes, Julia begins her own investigation, leading her to the discovery of a shadowy figure who nobody seems to ever see but her. This very atmospheric and well acted movie is full of twists, a keep you guessing plot and real humdinger scares. The lead actress is very good; beautiful, emotional and convincing, and her plight is very absorbing. I liked how the movie plays on her failing sight, and the clever camera work to convey her growing disorientation was very well done, making this viewer feel as vulnerable as the protagonist. It may borrow heavily from Japanese horror The Eye, and perhaps even Takeshi Miike’s acclaimed shocker Audition, but I liked how things panned out, and the motive behind what was happening was intelligently revealed and believable. At times I thought I knew what was about to happen, but the movie would always throw me a red herring and catch me off guard.
Director Guillem Morales has delivered a movie that has tension, scares and quality acting in a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Add to this some gorgeous camera work, with an effective, tension-filled score … and this pretty much delivers on all counts. A must see.
Verdict: 5 /5