Thrilling indie horror.
Nicholas Ortiz‘s The Flaying (El Bosque de los Sometidos) is a visually stunning fantasy horror with an all too impressive 70s appeal. The Flaying is an indie film production from Argentina about four teenagers who decide to tour the Argentine countryside to check out an illegal car race; they instead become distracted when they find an abandoned castle out in the middle of nowhere. Olivia Tykocki, Emilio Martin, Juan Sebastial Alvarez Windey, and Celeste Subtin star in this slow brewing tale of terror, and one that is sure to cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up.
I just don’t know what it is about abandoned buildings that are a lure for unsuspecting teenagers. I mean, sure, during the light of the day everything looks beautiful but get trapped there at night, and you just might lose some skin. The “inhabitants” remind me a lot of the freaks you see in the survival horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Flaying even has the games’ similar eerie atmosphere–dark, moody, and you never know when something was going to jump out and grab you. However, the film does fall short on story. Aside from what you already know about the characters’ intentions from the synopsis, there isn’t much dialogue to go on. In addition, there isn’t much for detail as to the castle’s former inhabitants, other than their sinister affinity for torture, and an unnatural talent for flaying people alive. Seriously.
Argentina is known for its incredibly intense, emotional dramas, (XXY, Cama adentro), which I am an immense fan of. But now, it seems that I now look forward to a rise in Argentinian horror productions. Ortiz’s Flaying is an engaging alternative to the typical teen slasher film genre. Not only is the film cinematically impressive–the photography, the art direction, even the way the film utilized colorization making keen use of warm color tones, the film’s grainy appearance and camera ‘zoom’ techniques were effectively used–even down to the actors’ clothing and general appearance. El Bosque de los Sometidos looks exactly as it would have if shot during the 70s, including a music and film style that are down right unique.
Overall, The Flaying is an interestingly thrilling indie horror film that should be on everyone‘s radar in the near future. A film this creepy won’t go unnoticed for long.