Darkness (2002)

Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Jaume Balagueró, Fernando de Felipe
Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini, Fele Martínez, Stephan Enquist
Seen on: 01.04.2015

Regina (Anna Paquin) and her family – mother Maria (Lena Olin), father Mark (Iain Glen) and her little brother Paul (Stephen Enquist) – have just moved to Spain. Her father used to grow up there, but left the country when he was a child. His father Albert (Giancarlo Giannini) is still there, though, and looking forward to his grandchildren. But there is something about the rather remote house they’re living that doesn’t seem quite right. And it doesn’t take long until mysterious things start happening.

Darkness has its moments, but it also has an insistent and incessant sound design that annoyed the hell our of me and surprisingly weak performances by its cast.

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Mientras duermes [Sleep Tight] (2011)

Mientras duermes
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Alberto Marini
Cast: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, Petra Martínez, Iris Almeida
Part of: /slash Filmfestival’s slashing Europe [The /slash Filmestival needs help! Please support genre movies in Austria, if you can.]

César (Luis Tosar) is a seemingly normal doorman. He gets the newspaper, delivers letters and does small repairs. But what César actually strives for is to make everybody as unhappy as he possibly can. In Clara (Marta Etura) he seems to have found his match – no matter what he throws at her, Clara still smiles. And so the situation keeps on escalating.

Sleep Tight is very tense and really, really creepy. Basically, it really achieves what The Resident failed to do: It actually made me happy that there’s no room under my bed for somebody to lie there.

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[Rec] (2007)

[Rec] is a movie directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, written by them together with Luiso Berdejo and starring Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Pablo Rosso and David Vert.

Ángela (Manuela Velasco) is a young reporter who does a tag-along piece about a fire station in Barcelona. Together with her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) they head out on a call with the firemen to a woman trapped in an apartment building. But as soon as they arrive at the building, they notice that something is really off. The trapped woman attacks one of the policemen and bites him. Before they can really get to grips with the situation, the whole building is sealed off by the health department, locking everyone in. But locking them in with what?

I’m not much of a fan of found footage movies but since [Rec] got some very good buzz, I figured, I’d give this one a try anyway. Unfortunately, [Rec] did not change my opinion about found footage films. Left me cold.

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