In 1985, city of Villa Epecuén, located in Argentine, was erased from the land, after a severe storm caused a nearby dam to break wide open, and other barriers were overwhelmed, with no way of stopping the flood that caused the population of 5,000 people hurried in abandoning the city as it submerged beneath rising water with a depth of 33 feet. Then in 2009, almost 25-years later, the waters resided slowly, in vast areas showed the devastation, allowing people to understand the power of nature, the landscape forever alter now appear covered in a layer of white and gray salt, though pools of water still remain. The entire area now contains the appearance of an eerie ghost town, the near silence downright scary, the skeleton structure of rusting rebar and cars that showed the corrosive saltwater and what it can do every time. Since then a real documentary was made about it called Pablo’s Villa (2013) and then adventurous Filmmaker brothers Luciano and Nicolás Onetti (Abrakadabra  and A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio ) deliver their Spanish language version of torture porn which echoes themes, and homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977). This duo tackles every major aspect, from writing, directing, producing, even the tasks of editing and scoring their film, oh wait they both had minor cameo appearances into their love letter to the genre of horror. Needless to say it fits squarely into the slasher subgenre as well as the beloved deranged family subgenre filled with some stunning visuals distributed by Terror Films on digital platforms.
A small documentary film crew heads the lost city with one of the survivors from the town, Carla (Victoria Maurette), principle subject of their film, she was a little girl at the time, who lived with her grandmother. As they embark on their travels, stopping for the customary fuel and supplies they encounter locals with unpleasant conversations ensue and shortly afterwards their vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere, soon learning they’re not alone rather a murderous family of psychopaths living with the ruins, but of course. One can tell the film keeps the core of the storyline to that of mutant family tales of woe and crazed hunger, though honesty nothing as freaky as Wrong Turn (2003) hillbillies, the filmmakers split-up and search around, all directions point to a large meat packing factory, which contains all the gory imagery and sexual violence, that most expect, well except that final element, which is… well you’ll figure it out if you desire too. However, one needs to definitely give an affirmative nod to the deadly villains headed by Abuela (Mirta Busnelli) and flanked by other demented sickos and then there’s a truly mysterious individual named Senor X. Intrigue.
The Onetti brothers learned well from other directors’ styles such as Tobe Hooper and Brian De Palma, the sleight of hand trick showing potential voice only to cut away allowing the audience to use their imagination of what is actually occurring on screen, and then switching drastically to the other end of the spectrum of the ‘money shot’ of sheer brutality inflicted upon the human body accompanied by agonizing cries and screams. However, the movie misses the mark as it lacks build-up, tension and holding the images too long on the screen, the toughest lesson how long is too long, one doesn’t want one to fade to black or a hard cut, but rather a transitional camera movement. Nevertheless, the filmmakers made sure to show the devastation of nature, while contrasting it against the stunning scenery of the location (via drone visuals), knowing it does speak volumes. The special effects and makeup all look stellar and give the appearance of classy production, allowing for the free-flowing bloodshed, as well as the spraying everywhere is something for the splatterpunks to thoroughly enjoy.
Clearly reading this review you will know what to expect, the brutalization shown on the screen fits into the so-called torture porn, this is a term that I personally dislike as a form of it actually existed since the 1960s and then associated with Bonnie and Clyde (1967) where critics labelled it as porno-violence; sometimes art is offensive, after all the word ‘horror’ is a harsh sounding word, it is standoffish or makes some recoil greatly. Whichever position you take is firmly an optimum however don’t discount this flick for its low-budget qualities nor its clear references to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
- THEY Are Coming for You
IMDb Rating: 4.9/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10