body horror

[Movie Review] Aterrados/Terrified (2017) ★★★★★

Dead zombie boy sitting at the table in Aterrados/Terrified 2017

Terrified knows how to scare and does it with original spine-chilling horror.


Aterrados, also known as Terrified is an Argentinian supernatural horror movie. It’s a very original haunted house movie that although split up in seemingly different segments or vignettes it truly is one big story that is well-build. With original monsters and scares, different techniques, unconventional protagonists, great jump scares and a terrifying atmosphere Terrified creates a very scary tale that is as spine-chilling as it is highly entertaining, that turns horror tropes into something completely different and new. 


Plot

In a normal neighborhood in Buenos Aires, something strange is happening. Clara hears voices coming out of the sink and her husband Juan Blumetti hears strange banging coming from the bathroom in the middle of the night. Their neighbor Walter Carabajal experiences some weird and very scary phenomena in his house. He gets so afraid he calls for the help of a scientist of the paranormal Dr Mora Albreck. When a little boy is playing outside his house he is run over by a bus, but some days later he sits like a zombie at the dining room table. 

When somebody dies and another person goes missing, and no explanation can be found, chief of police Funes calls in the help of retired pathologist Mario Jano. Paranormal investigators Dr Albreck and Dr Rosentock also are asked to help figure out what is happening and to explain the paranormal events. But this time they might be in over their heads. 


Why you should watch it

Terrified has a very interesting and intriguing structure that sets the truly terrifying tone of a mystery and horror at the same time, with unexpected turns and a fresh approach. While oldies Albreck, Rosentok, Funes and Jano start their investigation they don’t know what’s coming for them. But by that time the audience has seen some pretty scary and weird stuff. While the dead boy is their starting point, we have already witnessed what Juan has seen and what horrifying nights Walter has had. 

Three houses, three different paranormal events that seemingly look like some poltergeist activity but is anything but. The truth is far more sinister and original. Each of the investigators goes into a different house to pick up these phenomena in their own way. That also results in different approaches to horror tropes and they deal with it each in their own specific way, resulting in different horror experiences. This creates three different ghost stories that actually form one big scary ghost story with brilliant jump scares, a great ominous atmosphere full of terror and bizarre monsters and happenings that are very original and imaginative. 

The investigators, including Funes are all seniors and older than normally expected in a horror film. That makes it all the more interesting and original. While they all have a lot of life experience, none of them have come across these new phenomena. Although one of them has a cosmic mind-blowing theory. While they don’t panic and know exactly what they are doing, they still get some scares of their own, totally unprepared for this new thing. That makes it more believable and while each character is highly likable, including the neighboring victims, it’s all the more disturbing and unsettling. 

It’s shot in a great way, making use of familiar horror tropes like night vision, and found footage, very creepy scenes and static scenes the mystery is well-build into an elusive but authentic story. Although horror tropes are used, they are used in the most effective ways and some new creative mythology is added that results in some pretty disturbing and imaginative horror. It’s a tale that feels familiar using tropes, but changes along the way into something really terrifying stepping into the unknown. 

Add to this music that emphasizes the horror and you’ll get a really terrifying tale of horror. A story in fact that enters new territory of horror and it would be great if this new kind of horror would be further explored, creating a fresh and new kind of cosmic horror. 


My favorite part

I really liked the seniors who brought something fresh to the story. But the scariest part was Walter’s segment. The creepy monsters show us that there really could be something terrible hiding under your bed, or hiding in the closet. While it takes place in normal houses, the scary bits really feel close to home, but the bed and closet scenes really did it for me. The camera angles, the way the scenes were shot with night vision. And how the camera lingers, takes its time to really take in what you are seeing, is greatly done. 

This also goes for the dead boy. With very long frontal shots that show his creepy gross dead face, while he sits still at the table doing nothing, not even moving creates a very unsettling vibe. 

That is what I really liked about Terrified, how it combined atmosphere with jump scares and original scary mythology, to transform horror tropes into something new and fresh and most importantly into something terrifying. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★★★★

Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Cast and crew

Terrified/Aterrados is directed  and written by Demián Rugna. It stars Maximilliano Ghione (Funes), Norberto Gonzalo (Jano), Elvira Onetto (Mora Albreck), George L. Lewis (Rosentock), Julieta Vallina (Alicia), Demián Salomón (Walter), Agustín Rittano (Juan) and Natalia Señorales (Clara).

Duration: 87 minutes. Cinematography: Mario Suárez. Edited by: Lionel Cornistein. Produced by: Fernado Díaz, Andrea Kluger. Production company: Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, Machaco Films. Distributed by: Aura Films. 


Check the trailer below