Written and Directed by Lucio A. Rojas
Starring: Catalina Martin, Macerna Carrere, Ximena del Solar, Dominga Bofill, Daniel Antivilo, Eduardo Paxeco, Felipe Rios, Claudio Riveros, Florencia Heredia
IMDb 6/10 Rotten Tomatoes NO DATA Metacritic NO DATA
Chile, 1973. After the military strike puts a dramatic end to president Allende‘s goverment, generalAugusto Pinochet rules the country with blood and fire. His most brutal forces, however, are not the soldiers, but the fearsome agents of the military intelligence and the cold-blooded civilians who support them. Years after the dictatorship ended and the Valech Comission Report was published, untold horrors surfaced and people was finally able to know about the gruesome crimes against men, women and even children.
There are very few films that leave me speechless. Films that leave me feeling so shocked and so disturbed that there’s a lasting sense of unsettlement long after the credits finish rolling. Films that truly drive that question of “does Evil exist” or the depravity of humanity.
For the opening scene of this film I was more than disturbed. It was so vile and so violent and so graphic that I was literally holding my hand over my mouth in disbelief. Plus, what I know about psychology, this film is one of the most horrific and disturbing films I have ever seen.
We start in Chile decades ago where we see a woman tied to a table, bloody and beaten so badly her eye is swollen shut. She is bleeding from her face, her wrists, her mouth, her ankles and very heavily between her legs. The men holding her captive bring in her son. He’s a young man, teenager. Not only do they shoot him up with something, they force him to rape his tortured and bloodied mother. In the midst of doing that, they shoot her in the head and then force him to continue to rape her until eventually they stop forcing him and he’s raping her deceased body all on his own.
Now, that’s just the first like five minutes. The psychological impact of something like that on a young man would be catastrophic. It would completely twist not only his moral compass but also his sexuality and what arouses him and it would impact on how he gives and receives love, if at all.
Then, we join a group of girlfriends who are, I don’t know, basically vacationing. This part is taking place more recently (the present era, I don’t remember what year). These girls are busted in on in their cabin and violated and tortured by a man and his son. They lust for pure horrific violence and sexual depravity. And they do whatever they want to these girls.
But, don’t discount these chicks just yet. Once they figure out there is no help for them anywhere near this little rural town in Chile, they decide to take justice into their own hands. Four tough chicks gut it out through as much as they can to get their vengeance.
You can find out with your own copy on October 23. Or you can see it on cable. It’ll be available on Blu-ray, DVD, cable and digital HD.
Now, IF YOU CAN STOMACH IT, this is a FANTASTIC horror film. It is filmed in Spanish. I personally don’t speak Spanish so I had to use the subtitles but, that took nothing away from the film. An incredible and intense psychological thriller and rape revenge film. Like I said, very few films can make my stomach turn and this one did. Very few films can make me feel dirty and disgusting like I need a hot shower after watching it to cleanse the filth and evil from every part of my being.
That, my friends, is when you know you have horror. When, after you watch it, you are left sitting there with your arms wrapped around yourself and this look on your face like you just ate something rotten and you can’t sit still and the scenes just replay in your head over and over and over again. You start thinking about how truly messed up and depraved the subject matter of the film is. This film in particular would be a classic feast for psychologists on the “nature vs nurture” debate. I promise you, both influence a human being.
And I really want to tell you about certain things but I don’t want to give away too much. Besides, nothing I say is going to match what you see on screen.
Now, while I want to recommend this film to every horror lover, there are certainly going to be some of you that aren’t going to be able to handle this. So, I thought I would sort of give you a rundown on what things are in the film that MIGHT be offensive to the softer sensibilities.
Blood and gore
Disturbing psychological premises
Graphic sexual activity
Now, I happen to think that this film reminded me of the original ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ but, this one was taken to a much more graphic level. So, if you can stomach that, that gives you some form of reference as to what you are going to be getting.
Again, I LOVE revenge horror. And while it took me two days after watching this to collect my thoughts enough to write this review, I would totally watch it again. This, in my opinion, is like the new shock horror but not. It’s similar to the Italian horror that was many times banned in the US for its content. But, it IS just a movie.
Once again, the claim that this story is based on real events is made at the beginning of the film. IF that is really true, my heart would totally ache for these poor victims. But so often we hear that and it is actually, as I’ve stated many times, INSPIRED by true events. Now, I didn’t do the research this time on whether or not this actually happened. Whether it did or not, it is a completely horrifying journey controlled by a deranged madman and his demented son.
If slasher movies bother you, if rape in films bothers you, if a lot of blood and gore bothers you, if psychological deviance and twists and compulsions of the vilest nature bothers you, then don’t watch this movie. (Also, you might want to rethink watching horror movies altogether but, hey, that’s just my opinion, I know no one asked me. Consider it free advice.)
But for all you hard core horror fans that are looking for the horror movie version of something like I Spit on Your Grave meets Faces of Death, this is for you.
I personally like all horror so I thought this film was great. It left me feeling “Oh. My. Fucking. God.” and slightly sick to my stomach. I could literally feel my stomach churning stomach acid, nauseating me. Now, come of folks!!! That’s a horror film!!!
Be prepared for an awesome film filled with gory and twisted things purposely thrown in your face to make you feel as uncomfortable and uneasy as possible. Which is the whole point of horror, isn’t it?
CAST and CREW
Written and directed by: LUCIO A. ROJAS
Produced by: RODRIGO FERNANDEZ
Executive producers: SEBASTIÁN BALLEK
Edited by: CRISTIAN TOLEDO
Director of photography: SEBASTIÁN BALLEK
Production designer: PAMELA ROJAS
Makeup Artist : ISABELLA MARCHESSE
Visual effects supervisor : SEBASTIÁN BALLEK
XIMENA DEL SOLAR
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Born in Santiago, Chile, Lucio Rojas studied Public Administration at the University of Chile.
Later he studied at the Film School of Chile, where he graduated with a specialization in script and direction. The year 2012 debuts with Cristian Toledo in the direction of "Muerte Ciega" (Blind Death- Havana Film Festival). 2014 premieres "Perfidia", a film that had an official selection in almost twenty international festivals. The 2015 premiere of "Sendero" at the Sitges festival and from there, marked presence in more than 25 international festivals, being the first Chilean horror film to be acquired worldwide by Netflix for world premiere.
Now it premieres "Trauma", the most controversial horror film made in the last decades in Latin America and considered in several international rankings within the top 10 of the season.
The film lays its foundations in the recent history of Chile and the prevailing repression of the Pinochet dictatorship very approached by national filmmakers, which marked a full generation of Chileans (50 years approx) but never in the genre films and, therefore, never explicit in the harshness that existed for the real biography of his tortured victims.
Well known is the raw testimony of the actress Gloria Laso, who because of belonging to the resistance, was imprisoned and taken to one of the 16 torture centers and one of the roughest, known as "La Venda Sexy" (referring to the bandage with which they covered the eyes of the prisoners they tortured sexually) http://bit.ly/2zQXHpH where they used to take women (including pregnant women and with children included) to submit them to the most abhorrent sexual torture, among which are mentioned: zoophilic rape (With an CNI agent in charge of canine training for the purpose of sexual torture, Ingrid Olderock "the lady of the dogs" introduction of living mice and other monstrosities of which only a decade later, her traumatized victims would count in the book “Los Malos” (The bad ones, by Leila Guerriero) or famous Rettig Report http://bit.ly/2A9JAju where entireChile was impacted by the indecency of the military with these women and especially, with pregnant women or women with children present.
The history books capture these atrocities but ... has anyone bothered to investigate the consequences of sexual torture? Including those that, as a survival method, developed resiliences that nobody assures, were a healthy means of psychological defense?
This same motivates director Lucio A. Rojas to create a local monster that is the repository of the most atrocious traumas, including a forced incest (rape of his own mother) described in testimonies of the Rettig report and that like Europeans his own war . As noted critic Andrew Mack of Screen Anarchy said: "Filmmakers before us have given us an idea what an oppressive regime is capable of committing against its own people. Few, like Lucio Rojas, have given us reason to fight back against them.
Disturbing is the current political landscape, where the global ultra-right is coming to stay (from the US to Chile) as if the people had forgotten the latent scars of their past totalitarianism and exposing themselves to repeat history. As the critic Ali Lopez says:
"There will be many who reject the tape, who feel it unnecessary and aberrant; more, because of the times in which we live. I feel it is indispensable, because in it there is a cry that claims to be heard, a voice of a whole Latin America that has not managed to escape from its perfect dictatorships. Because ghosts haunt, with their nails and teeth, and the violence that was exercised yesterday, is today, and tomorrow will be. "