DECEMBER 6, 2008
My 3rd Spanish language movie in a row! Lo siento to all of my racist and/or illiterate readers.
Blame (Spanish: La Culpa) is a movie that only works as a horror movie if you TELL people it’s a horror movie. Nothing of the sort happens until the final 5 minutes, and even the minor things that seem taken from a horror movie are explained away almost instantly, lest you begin to think you’re watching a haunted house story or something.
For example, early on we see a door handle jiggle from the other side, as if someone was trying to escape a locked room. Is it a ghost? An imprisoned monster? Nope, it’s the neighbor (the door is shared, hotel-style, with the other side of the duplex), something we learn a few minutes later. The main character has an abortion, and then later her daughter begins carrying around a small box and won’t show anyone what’s inside of it. Could it be the aborted fetus? Nope, it’s a picture of a mother with a baby. Total “could it be...?” screentime? Four minutes. Like Spectre (which is on the other side of the disc), it’s hardly a traditional horror movie, but that is actually what makes it more suspenseful. You know SOMETHING “scary” is going to happen, but the script makes us patiently wait for it, which is unnerving in a way. You could tell someone it’s a drama and they would have no trouble accepting it as such, at least until the very end when someone’s neck is slashed (the only traditionally “horror” moment in the entire movie).
Naturally, this means that the film has received “Worst movie ever” style comments on the IMDuhb, including one guy who says that nothing in the movie is resolved, which is interesting, because everything IS in fact resolved if you pay the fuck attention. I suppose there should be a Saw-style edit montage in which things you just saw are played under voice-over that is telling you something different this time so that it “makes sense”, but since morons would have turned the movie off long before the finale anyway due to the lack of gore and nudity, it would have been fruitless. In the end, you have more proof that if you want a horror film that is intelligent and story/character driven, you have to look outside “the greatest and bestest country God ever gave man”.
This is also the 3rd film in the past week that has dealt with abortion, which is not a very common topic in horror movies (or so I thought). Like Re-Cycle, there are some truly “ew” worthy “what happens to the unborn fetus” ideas going on here, so those of you who are disturbed by the concept should steer clear. I’m pro-choice (it’s MY body, dammit!), and even though both of these films seem to suggest the filmmakers feel the opposite way, I never felt I was being preached to, nor do they make it seem like pro-choicers are villainous in any way (note the genre tag before you argue that point with this particular movie). Which is good; while I am a staunch supporter of using a horror film to tackle a particular issue, it should never be construed as “propaganda, but with gore!”. Best to address a topic, but stay more or less neutral when it comes to choosing a side. Well, for this particular topic anyway. Others it’s OK to be a bit biased; I’m not really interested in hearing Hitler’s side in a Nazi zombie movie.
Like Spectre, the only extra is a brief making of in which people’s faces are blurred out for some reason. You won’t learn much beyond the fact that director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador likes cigars and that the Spanish for casting is “casting”, but since the movie is only 70 minutes long, you might as well turn the making of on for the additional 15 it offers, get your money’s worth.
What say you?