|OUT OF THE DARK (AQUAS ROJAS) (director: Lluís Quílez; screenwriters: Javier Gullón/David Pastor/Alex Pastor; cinematographer: Isaac Vila; editor: Bernat Vilaplana; music: Fernando Velázquez; cast: Pixies Davies (Hannah), Julia Stiles (Sarah), Scott Speedman (Paul), Stephen Rea (Jordan Harriman), Alejandro Furth (Dr. Andres Contreras, Jr.), Vanesa Tamayo (Catalina), Guillermo Morales Vitola (Man at Party); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Cristian Conti /Enrique López; Vertical Entertainment; 2014-USA/Colombia/Spain-in English with some Spanish)|
supernatural horror film."
by Dennis Schwartz
Lluís Quílez was born in Barcelona,
Spain, and makes his directorial feature film
debut with this derivative supernatural horror film,
whose supernatural doings never held up to even
forgivable horror pic scrutiny. The creepy revenge
ghost story is too bland to give one the chills, and
its pace is too plodding to build up suspense. But the
acting by Julia Stiles and Stephen Rea is good enough
to keep things from going bad, while the clever
screenplay by Javier Gullón, David Pastor
and Alex Pastor offers enough plot
twists to keep the viewer alert. What the film can't
do is make the supernatural masked ghost kids as
interesting and exotic as the Colombian location shots
of the jungle village.
shot in Bogota, Colombia. The visuals
by cinematographer Isaac Vila are
excellent, and give the film the quality look of an A
mom Sarah (Julia Stiles) and British dad Paul (Scott
Speedman) with their adorable attention-seeking
daughter Hannah (Pixie Davies) move from London to
Santa Clara, Colombia. Sarah's elderly dad
Jordan (Stephen Rea) owns for the
last twenty or so years the prosperous Harriman paper
mill, which he built from scratch, and the plan is for
the Spanish-speaking Sarah to train under him how to
run the modernized manufacturing plant when he
retires. Meanwhile her children's book illustrator
husband Paul is to freelance at home. But he doesn't
seem overjoyed by the arrangement to live in such a
backward area and be a second-fiddle to wifey.
is the beautiful country jungle home the couple is
given by Jordan turns out to be the company's former
clinic, which hides dark secrets and has been haunted
ever since a 1992 incident over the knifing death of
the company doctor.
little Hannah is taken by masked ghost kids, right
after exhibiting a mysterious spreading body rash, mom
and dad are heart-broken and determined to rescue on
their own their ailing daughter after learning how
inefficient are the investigating local police.
There's a back story about a local festival held to commemorate a time five hundred years ago when the ruthless gold-seeking conquistadors kidnapped and then locked all the children of Santa Clara in a temple and burned them alive.It's not a bad film. It sends out intelligent social issue messages. But the genre demands thrills and the thrills offered here were of the usual horror pic scare shots that didn't do much for me.
REVIEWED ON 2/14/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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