I’ve never done a double review post before but I have been watching some really cool horror films lately through Shudder and we’re gonna talk about it. I won’t give away MOST spoilers in case you might want to check them out yourself and I really hope you will. One film is taking place in the Irish landscape and legends while the other takes place in a suburban Latin neighborhood and both are equally creepy.
Terrified and Don’t Leave Home.
Let’s do this.
Terrified (or Aterrados) really surprised me. It made me feel some type of constant dread. It is a Shudder Exclusive so you won’t be able to find it anywhere else.
Terrified is an Argentinian horror film, taking place in a suburban neighborhood, kinda reminds me of LA but it’s Buenos Aires, and it seems as if something supernatural has come over the various homes. What I enjoyed about this film is the build up and I wouldn’t call it a slow burn per se. You already know something is wrong, something is right and when we are faced with the supernatural or our “perception”, it is genuinely scary.
We start with a couple who begin hearing strange noises or voices which escalates quickly and counter connected to a neighbor who cannot sleep because he fears what is under his bed to then a tragic accident that is the final nail in the coffin.
It does dwell too long in certain places. Some of the special effects, especially the end, looks a bit ridiculous compared to how they did makeup and SPX for creating the… supernatural aspects. The cinematography is good, it’s shot nicely, some really good scares. I jumped a few times!
It’s not a safe film as in the characters aren’t safe, they are in constant danger. Eventually we are introduced to a cop, one who is about to retire, who is confronting what he is seeing and experiencing around paranormal investigators who are more about figuring out what is happening and studying than… stopping the situations and saving potential lives.
Terrified gets a 4 out of 5.
Directed by Demián Rugna and starring Maximiliano Ghione, Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George Lewis and Agustín Rittano.
Don’t Leave Home resonated with me. It is an English film but taking place mostly in the Irish landscape, which we know what happens when you aka the audience is taken out of a familiar place and into a new environment. Hello, Midsommar? This film is about our protagonist, an artist named Melanie Thomas (Hollyman) who creates an art piece that seems to attract a priest who has lived life in solitary confinement ever since the “occurrence”. The priest, named Alistair Burke (Roddy), is also an artist who paints a young child as the parents watch. However, it turns sinister when the child goes missing in both her bed and in the painting.
What I enjoyed so much about this film is that Melanie is me. I am an artist of sorts, I dabble in painting, drawing, photography, went to school for this and got a couple of degrees and the struggle of being an artist is real. Struggling to make something, produce something, find words on an artist’s statement or losing your passion because of trauma or you’re lost. I identified with both she and Burke throughout the film and their dynamic/chemistry was nice. You felt a genuine liking and adoration for each other.
On the flip side, there is another character who appears to be sweet and welcoming, an older woman (Breen) who is taking care of said priest. And the actress plays her so well. She’s like those older women who will take you in and give you tea and cookies and talk sweet but once she came on screen, my radar went up and I was immediately… “SHE’S BAD. STAY AWAY FROM HER!” I even thought at one point that the priest wasn’t even there, it was just a scam. In some ways, it was a scam.
There aren’t jump scares, the cinematography is so beautiful, taking advantage of the landscape and secluded environment. The acting was good, there are so many unanswered questions, especially the ending.
Don’t Leave Home is a Shudder exclusive as well, directed by Michael Tully, and stars Anna Margaret Hollyman, Lalor Roddy, Helena Breen, David McSavage, Karrie Cox and Mark Lawrence.
It also gets 4 out of 5.