Horrortoberfest ’20 Day 9 – Terrified (2018)

 

For today’s selection, we take a trip down to Buenos Aires for a truly terrifying Argentinian film. This one promised something I haven’t seen much of in horror which is a haunted neighborhood. Usually you get a haunted house, person, object, etc. I always love to see how different cultures handle similar themes that you see a lot of like ghosts or zombies. It’s good to be shown that there isn’t just one singular way to do things. Also, I guess I should mention that there is also a brief scene of a child getting killed because I guess that’s just an accidental mini theme for the week.

The movie weaves through different perspectives and stories while telling the tale of the supernatural events afflicting a small neighborhood. The man accused of killing his wife, the neighbor that first noticed strange things happening, the mother that loses her child, and the paranormal investigators that come to try to make sense of what is happening here. We also get the outsider perspective of a detective with a heart condition that has no idea what is going on and is just trying to help out while being in way over his head.

Terrified does an amazing job of starting out with high tension and maintaining that for the whole movie in a way that doesn’t feel like it is trying too hard. Even when nothing particularly spooky is happening, there is a constant feeling of dread that is extremely well presented by having so many horror trope shots and set ups that don’t jump scare you. In much the same way as when I reviewed The Autopsy of Jane Doe last year, this movie is very well versed in the language of horror and can play tricks with it. Perhaps one of the best things that the movie does is establish that you can only see the ghosts(?) from certain angles and otherwise they are invisible.

The reason I put a question mark after ghosts there is because this isn’t really a standard ghost movie. What is haunting these places isn’t the soul of a dead person, like you might see in similar movies. This might count as spoilers for the movie but I think it’s a super interesting take on the genre: What is happening is that a parallel world has managed to infect our own through the water and the things we are seeing are growths from that infection. The dimensional aspect and infection makes for a much stranger and more compelling narrative than just “dead person” and also means they get to play with the conventions a bit more.

The visuals in this are absolutely great and don’t rely on CGI for most things. I think Terrified is one of the better horror films I’ve seen recently and for sure recommend it to anyone looking for a good scare.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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