While the world has been busy being needlessly bludgeoned to death by J-horror’s non stop barrage of evil appliance flicks (Yikes my VCR!, Eek my computer!, D’oh, my cellphone! et al.) not to mention America’s brain-dead on arrival “torture porn” cycle, Spain and Mexico have been quietly producing the best horror films of the past decade. Filmmakers like GUILLERMO DEL TORO (THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE), ALEJANDRO AMENABAR (THESIS) MATEO GIL (NOBODY KNOWS ANYBODY) and JUAN ANTONIO BAYONA (THE ORPHANAGE) form an unofficial horror club whose existence recalls the early eighties horror boom in America. Of particular interest is Spanish Director JAUME BALAGUERO whose track record reveals an artist inspired by imagery and themes that can only be described as “Kindertraumatic.” Let’s take a look at the evidence thus far…
THE NAMELESS (1999) A missing girl is found dead in a well, her body burned with acid and punctured with needles. Years later her still grieving mother receives a phone call from somebody claiming to be the child. Based on a novel by British Author RAMSEY CAMPBELL, THE NAMELESS is a disquieting puzzle whose solution concerns an almost unthinkable evil.
DARKNESS (2002) A much maligned haunted house tale with satanic rites and child sacrifices at it’s core. Visually arresting and subtly staged, there may be giant gaping holes in the script but what’s on the screen is serenely haunting.
FRAGILE (2005) A hospital night nurse is horrified by excruciating supernatural attacks on children that result in broken bones. The kids inform her of a “mechanical girl” who is dead set on keeping the little ones immobile. It’s as creepy and weird as its alarmingly tolerable star CALISTA FLOCKART.
[REC] (2007) Those who are not fans of BALAGUERO’s restraint should be advised to be careful what they wish for. The gloves are officially off. Can you handle this in-your-face, no-holds-barred, unfettered howling rampage of a zombie film? Don’t be so sure!
UPDATE: Read about JUAME BALAGUERO‘s contribution to the television series 6 FILMS TO KEEP YOU AWAKEHERE!