29 February 2008 | Schwenkstar
Incredibly gory thriller that is surprisingly intelligent and artful!
One of the goriest films I have ever seen. Blood spews, spouts, spurts, and sprays from just about every body part, and the blood is splattered, splashed, smeared, slopped, and sloshed in just about every nook and cranny of the house.
Normally, I would immediately reject the film as nothing more than pure exploitation and try my best to forget about it, but with this picture there was something more to the proceedings than just it's blood soaked surface. Indeed, there was a great amount of intelligence behind the gore, providing ample subtext about motherhood.
For instance, director Bustillo made the strange choice of fogging the mother's home, giving it a dream-like ambiance that suggests an outward manifestation of the character's subconscious. As a result, we begin to question the validity of the proceedings - Is the black-cloaked woman a representation of the protagonist's fear of motherhood? Is the bodily torment and self-mutilation a response to the protagonist's guilt she feels for causing her husband's death? Many questions are raised and the only answer given is rather simplistic and contrived, though still logical enough to be acceptable. However, it is still ambiguous enough at the film's conclusion to allow for further pondering.
In addition to the rich subtext (and on a more visceral level), the film features stylized direction and beautifully executed sequences of creeping dread and pulse-pounding suspense that are simply a joy to behold.
However, despite these wonderful qualities, the film delves into its violent excess to an unnecessary degree, most likely only to provide shocks rather than further develop its potent subtext. Also, the inclusion to the police officers and their rapid deaths seemed pointless, and though one could argue that they were a representation of the husband's own death and her inability to save him, I would argue that there were simply included to increase the body count and add a few more shots of gooey, gunky gore.
If the gore wasn't so repulsive, I might have said this was my favorite horror film of 2007 as the intelligence and skill that went into the making of this film is very much evident. Unfortunately, Bustillo indulged a little too much in adding shock value to his film, causing him to undermine many elements within his own picture.
Flawed yet still a good movie.