Terrified (2017)

In theaters for Fantastic Fest 2018: Terrified (2017)

There are things in this film. Are they dead? I think so. They’re coming through a crack in the wall. You find them in your cupboards and wardrobes and the plumbing. They’re there, but you can’t see them, unless it’s from just the right angle. What do they want? Difficult to say. Murdering you will do for a start.

Poster
Terrified (2017)
Terrified (2017)

That’s one way to summarize Demián Rugna’s Terrified (2017), a movie that mostly lives up to its name. Another is imagining Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating the house from Ju-on: The Grudge (2002) and losing your bet on how they die.

Like Ju-on: The Grudge, the plot is nonlinear. It unfolds in a series of related vignettes, and the scares are designed to be maximally creepy. There’s even a dead kid (Matias Rascovschi) and a cop (Maxi Gehone) who thinks that arson is the answer. But the curse doesn’t restrict itself to a single house. It infests an entire neighborhood. Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, and George Lewis play a trio of respectable middle-aged ghost hunters who pool their resources to crack the case. Each one goes into a different house in an attempt to document the phenomena. I’ll let you guess how many come out.

If this is representative of the sort of horror that they’re producing in Argentina, give me a gaucho hat and call me Che.