Friday, September 11, 2015

Discovering The Hidden Face

My classes meet on a monthly basis. Students join me to discuss horror, mystery and suspense, and then they move on, usually to study science fiction and fantasy.

In our final week, I invite, all right, I compell students to bring in properties they've discovered to discuss. The only stipulation is that the selected piece fall somewhere under the horror, mystery and suspense umbrella.

I can't see everything. That guy from FX was right. There's a lotta TV out there in addition to movies, books, games, graphic novels and web series.

So we crowd source, and we get more than just Dad's movies --i.e. selections I root out--to explore genre elements.

It produces the usual suspects like Dead Space and Silent Hill, assorted anime and sometimes graphic novels.

And sometimes things turn up that I haven't encountered. Such as The Hidden Face aka La Cara Oculta, a 2011 Spanish-language thriller from Columbia.

The presentation in class included a couple of spoilers, which disappointed me a bit. I usually like to experience a piece without knowing major twists, but I was happy to have the film brought to my attention

I learned in watching the film, it's hard to discuss it without spoiling something.

 The trailer spoils a bit, in fact, removing some of the fun of the first act, so don't watch the trailer. Just dive into the film, which focuses on orchestra conductor Adrián (Quim Gutierrez) and the women in his life.

He's broken down in the opening when he gets a farewell note from his live-in girlfriend Belén (Clara Lago). The two have moved together from Spain for him to take the post as conductor of the Bogata Philharmonic, but she's apparently grown disillusioned with their relationship.

Odd occurrences soon plague the house when Fabiana moves in. Eerie ripples disturb her bath, and she hear odd sounds which compell her to explore the house more.

To further complicate matters, Adrián is soon the target of a police investigation. There's no sign that Belén left the country or is alive anywhere.

What follows is twists, with shifts in perspective on key events and a number of surprises, all unfolding as the quirky nature of love and desire are explored.

It's paced a little different than an American film, and it's hard to know what to expect, which is kind of refreshing, and the twists continue to the film's final seconds.

It can be an interesting experience for the horror and thriller fan who's not all about blades and car chases.

Streaming availability seems limited, at least through current subscription services. I ordered the disk from Netflix or it can be rented via Amazon.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Have not heard of this one but it sounds pretty good.

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