REVIEW: The Unburied a.k.a El cadáver insepulto (2020)

dir. Alejandro Cohen Arazi

Upon the death of his towering, patriarchal ‘papa’, young psychiatrist Maximiliano (Demián Salomón) returns to his former foster home, but it soon becomes clear that a complicated and disturbing past lingers on.

Despite some admirable elements The Unburied can’t help but end up a disappointing watch. Salomón is an effective lead, adding weight to Maximiliano’s journey, but the plot doesn’t give him enough to do, tropes crashing in when greater subtlety may have been preferable. It’s difficult to know if director Alejandro Cohen Arazi was aiming to explore wider traumas in Argentina, or was crafting an examination of cults: either way it never chooses a satisfactory path, themes brought up only to be half-addressed.

Ultimately the subject matter may earn it a certain weightiness, but this is not matched by the film itself. For all the focus on past traumas the result is a rather pulpy affair, guilty of one too many generic excesses: enjoyable but frustratingly light.


Russell Bailey

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