Laura (Florencia Colucci) and her dad (Gustavo Alonso's Wilson) arrive at a broken down house in the country and attempt to restore it so the owner can put it back on the market. Spending the night, it’s not long before Laura starts hearing noises and she decides to explore the house...and that’s when the fun really begins.
Directed by Gustavo Hernández, this $6000 Uruguayan horror film from 2010 has two main purposes; 1) To provide straight-up, tension-building terror for under 90 minutes, and 2) Show off some technical prowess by filming it in one continuous take over four days (!). There’s not much more to it, as there’s very little plot or characterisation in the script by Oscar Estévez. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do think the film would’ve been better served by giving us a protagonist with enough depth to truly keep us engaged.
It’s not great, but it has a terrific use of sound and pitch darkness, and it’s the kind of thing that would scare the hell out of me late at night. That’s its aim, basically. It doesn’t want to do much more than that, and I can say that it succeeds. I especially liked the music score.
The film is quite well-lensed and lit under the circumstances, especially for a hand-held effort. The composition in particular is effective, you’re always worried that something is lurking about, ready to pounce. The shaky-cam only comes into effect towards the end with your typical “Blair Witch Project” camera device of shooting a person from behind whilst they’re running frantically (It’s pretty blatantly plagiaristic and unnecessary in that regard).
I really liked the ambiguity going on, where one isn’t sure if we’re involved in a supernatural or psychological experience here. I’ll admit that when it does finally come down on one side, it’s not the side I’d prefer, but it’s still a bit of fun. Inventive and twisty stuff at times (despite being bare-bones at the same time), I certainly didn’t see the big twist coming. The ending is a bit “Paranormal Activity”, though, disappointingly.
Simplistic (possibly too much so) bit of terrorising is no great piece of art nor a compelling narrative, but it does what it does rather well. For those who like their horror no-frills, no-fuss.