RUN TIME- 97 MINS
WRITER(S)- SEBASTIAN SILVA
STARRING- CATALINA SANDINO MORENO, AUGUSTIN SIVLA, AND LUIS DUBO
DIRECTOR- SEBASTIAN SILVA
Synopsis taken from IMDb
A naive young tourist's road trip across Chile with friends turns into a waking nightmare.
I literally came across this film out of the sheer fact that I had nothing to watch and was looking for a newer horror film. Instead of re-watching a DVD or Blu-Ray, I went with something I've never seen before. Mainly because I'm saving all of the films I own for my Halloween marathon in October, where I revisit all of the classics. Point is, I had no expectations going into this one. And as it turns out, that's a good thing...
Before I go into the film, here's a few things you should know about this film: it's actually based off of true events from an incident in Chile in 2010, that effected an Italian exchange student. And, this movie is now currently used frequently in both Psychology MS and Phd programs, where the students are faced with the task of evaluating Alicia and diagnosing her illness.
That being said, regardless of how much truth there is to this flick, I severely disliked it. The fact that nothing is explained is lame. Hell, they could have at least added captions at the end letting the viewer know exactly what the hell was going on. Even if they don't know what Alicia suffered from, they could have added a 'to this day, experts still haven't discovered what it was that had stricken Alicia'. But, there is nothing that let's us know that we're not wrong in feeling confused and lost.
If you read my work, then you know that I have no problem with films leaving a little mystery. But there's a difference in a little mystery and not knowing what the hell is going on. Or better yet, being so bored out of you mind that you don't even care. I literally waited through the whole movie, being tired from lack of anything going on, just to discover there isn't a payoff or decent ending. I walked away from this film very frustrated. And while it comes off as straight forward, I can't help but notice the artsy take on the whole thing, which is something else I disliked.
Just long, drawn-out shots of nothing happening but stuff you don't understand because not a single effort is made to entertain you. Without knowing what Alicia suffered from, it would have been a nice twist to see the director and writer, Sebastian Silva, have his own interpretation of what he thinks occurred. Instead of leaving it completely open.
I guess the acting was decent, but still, it's nothing worth talking about. No one gave a great performance that is something I can compliment this motion picture for. Michael Cera played a very feminine male, who was as weird as Alicia. I was especially disappointed with his acting, because one of the main reasons I wanted to see this is because I was intrigued to see how he takes on a serious role. Maybe he would have done better if the cinema in which he's acting actually held some water? Doesn't matter, totally forgetful performances, even if it is a step above a SyFy channel movie.
As it played and played, and I remained tortured for the duration, I looked down thinking that something was going to happen because it only had 25 minutes left before it ended. And all that's happened up until that point was senseless idiocy, like running around barking like a dog and sniffing people's asses. Oh, and Alicia acting completely crazy while no one wanted to really help, other than merely saying "she needs to be medicated" or "she needs a doctor, she's not a bad person". Those quotes aren't exact, just saying.
They do mention that there is a hospital five hours away but, that's no excuse for not helping her. Situations like this is where my inner Liam Neeson from 2005's "Batman Begins" arises, and I hear him say "Training is nothing, the will to act is everything!" And that's where I stand with this film. Driving five hours would have been a lot better than letting Alicia mentally deteriorate for days on end.
To conclude this, unless you're looking to be bored out of your skull and completely confused, avoid this film. I will say that I remain hopeful that Cera will do a serious role in a horror film again one day, and make it count. As is, I've got no reason to really like the guy as an actor, so I was expecting to be proven wrong. Or maybe I was hoping to be proven wrong. Either way you look at it, I wasn't. I was even less enthralled with how tiring and exhausting this movie is.
I find this to be a complete and utter waste of time. And to think, I put off watching "Ghost Shark" for this one. At least I'd have been entertained with that one, even if it is in a bad way. I'd take being entertained at all over being bored to tears.
Was it the hypnosis that got Alicia? Was it insomnia? Guess who has two thumbs and doesn't give a damn either way? This guy.
No offense to anyone involved in the real incident. My opinions are solely based off of this terrible film.