Movie of the Week: Terrified

If you are a horror fan, there is nothing more satisfying than watching a movie that gives you goosebumps and sends chills itching over your scalp.  We can watch movie after movie and have no scared reaction, and that’s not to say that those horror movies are bad.  Even good ones won’t make us jump or think twice about leaving our feet uncovered at night for all the bogeymen to nibble our toes or snatch us out of bed.  When we do find one that genuinely gives us the creeps, it’s like discovering a pony after you’ve dug through a room filled to the rafters with manure.

Terrified is such a pony.

Something is going on in a small neighborhood in Buenos Aires.  Claudia knows something is wrong when she hears voices coming up from the drain in the kitchen.  Her husband, Juan, he’s not so convinced.  He thinks it’s the neighbor and the noise from his late night remodeling.  Juan changes his mind when he finds his wife being whipped from side to side in the shower, her head crashing into the walls and making the banging noises he blamed on the neighbor, Walter.

Juan is promptly taken downtown to police headquarters.  He is shocked when the investigators inform him they know he didn’t kill his wife, even though his story of what happened is quite fantastical.  Juan learns there have been other incidents on his street.

This is where Walter’s story unfolds.  Poor Walter, he thinks he is losing his marbles.  He has to be losing his mind because the things happening in his house are far too illogical to be reality.  For instance, when he lays in bed, someone, or something, unseen, moves the bed around the room.  Then there are the glimpses of someone he sees in his house.  Walter sets up his camera and the footage it captures seems to conclude the scariest news of all:  Walter ain’t crazy.

Also in the neighborhood is Alicia.  Her son is hit by a bus and killed.  She grieves until her son comes back.  And this kid, let me tell you, is the creepiest kid this side of the grave.  With minimal movement and using only the suggestion of action, the kid spooks big time (you can tell yourself it’s a dummy, which it probably is, but it’s an effective dummy; chalk one up for practical effects because CGI could not nail this performance).

It’s the kid’s return that brings together the supernatural investigators.  They are three senior citizens who, when they say they’ve seen some things, you really believe them.  They are no nonsense, all business, and approach the case in a  (mostly) scientific manner.  They become the calm in the hurricane of scares.

Terrified takes no prisoners and can be a little exhausting by the end from the constant state of fear.  This movie does not ease up, so breathe when you can.  It had me constantly expecting something, and I was most impressed by its creepy use of calm and quiet (the dead kid is frightening).