dir. David Hebrero
Following the suicide of her son, María José (Macarena Gómez) is on the verge of killing herself when she’s stopped by the arrival of a strange little girl. Together they travel back to town, but when an encounter with the police turns supernaturally violent María realises this child may be connected to a local legend about preventing the end of the world.
Etched with surreal images from the impactful opener onwards, the spiralling aggression casts a shadow that hangs over proceedings with grim inevitability. Under this darkness Gómez is sensational, her performance powerful in both quiet and more propulsive moments and by the ending – which is ambiguous yet clear-eyed – audiences will be left captivated by the film’s mesmeric, fairy tale quality.
Grappling with grief, faith and the rancid corruption that tears communities apart, director Hebrero manages to balance grounded trauma with more fantastical elements, weaving them together into a compelling horror tapestry that is equal parts cosmic, occult and folk.
© Russell Bailey