Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
Audiences were besieged with spooky tales in a tsunami of creepiness following the J-horror boom, a wave of scary movies propelled by the likes of The Ring, The Grudge and their US remakes. Most of their imitators stank and it took the Insidious and Conjuring films to re-energise old haunts. For those who can’t get enough of these freak-outs, you’re going to love this batshit-bonkers exercise in terror that revels in delivering a ridiculously high ratio of scares per sequence throughout its taut running time.
From the first minute, Argentinian horror Terrified cranks the terror dial to 11, opening with a brilliantly bloody sequence that draws us into an ongoing investigation of a strange death by a weary cop (near retirement, of course) and his cohorts. The cop is baffled at first, but when paranormal activity starts getting its spook on, it is time to call in the experts – three senior citizens who know a thing or two about bumps in the night; only this time things aren’t quite what they seem. This is one insane south-of-the-border poltergeist empanada, chock-full of meaty frights and helmed by a possibly unhinged director with a highly developed imagination and flair for the freaky. — AT