Spectre (2006)

DECEMBER 4, 2008


What is it about the Mexican/Spanish people that results in them making really slow but yet really good ghost movies? Like Devil’s Backbone or The Orphanage, Spectre (Spanish, and more accurate title: Regreso a Moira) is not going to win any prizes from gorehounds or even “show the axe flying but cut before the splatter” hounds. The movie has a body count of 2, and one is a suicide. The closest thing the movie gets to action is when the hero is driving absent mindedly and almost rear-ends a guy.

Yet, despite my disappointment that the film had nothing to do with the terrorist group S.P.E.C.T.R.E., I was thoroughly compelled. I was all prepared to make a joke about the series’ title ("Six Films To Keep You Awake"), due to my tendency to doze off during any foreign language movie (it’s all the reading!), but I actually stayed awake the entire time, which is unheard of for me and a damn fine achievement. Granted, there’s not a lot of dialogue, but still, I’ll take a compliment however I can get one, even if it’s from myself.

Helping immensely is the insanely hot Natalia Mill├ín as Moira, the possible witch who our 16 year old hero gets to fuck a real lot over the course of the 80 minute film. She’s a bit Famke Janssen-esque, which is perfectly fine by me, and a good actress to boot. The creepiest scare in the movie comes during one of their love scenes, actually. Our hero sneaks into her room in the middle of the night and begins taking her from behind (HOT). Then he begins accusing her of being a whore, pointing out that she never looked to see who it was; that it could be anyone inside of her. She replies “You don’t know if it’s me either.” Gah! Let this be a lesson to all doggie-style enthusiasts: ALWAYS double check the front before making your way to the back.

I also really dug how the movie carefully laid out the information. I was never completely confused as to what was happening, but at the same time there was always a sense of urgency and mystery to the proceedings; a difficult balance to pull off. Gil Mateo’s script provides exactly as much information as you need as the scenes unfold, no more or less. And the end, which almost cancels the film out as a horror movie, is wonderfully bittersweet. It’s like Nicholas Sparks writing a Twilight Zone movie.

The "Pig to Christ" scene transition is always a
tough one to pull off, but Mateo succeeds.

One thing that kind of bugged me – the guy playing the older version of the hero looks WAY older than he should. It’s only forty years later, but it seems the character has aged 60. This is even more apparent when he visits his two childhood friends, who should be the same age but the actors are noticeably younger. One could assume that the emotional scarring from the incidents in the film (I’m trying not to spoil here, it’s a character driven story) left him looking older than his years, but if so, it’s a bit overboard.

The only extra on the DVD is a making of that runs a little over 20 minutes. It’s a perfectly decent piece, though I am a bit confused why certain crew members and even actors have their heads blurred (half-assedly at that). It was a distraction.

Like I said, this is part of the "6 Films To Keep You Awake"; another one is on the other side of the disc, so I’m sure I’ll get to that within the next couple days. So far, it’s certainly better than Lionsgate’s other “X number of films to make you do something” series, so kudos!

What say you?


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