FILM GUTTER Come on in, the water's just lovely...
Dir. Diego Cohen, Mexico, 96 mins
Ah, Valentine's Day. The perfect time for romance. Of course I type this sitting at home on my own (all together... aaahhhhh....) having just taken on Film Gutter's Valentine's viewing, Luna De Miel. This is a movie I remember spying the trailer for a while back, and liking the look of, but I do have rather a bad habit of losing track of release dates and so forth. Plus I watch a great number of trailers. Anyway, cut a long story short, this one suddenly popped up on Netflix and, inspired by the love in the air, I thought this one would be a good shout for this week's Film Gutter....
So, the story follows a respectable doctor type, Jorge Toledo, a shy young man who has a crush on one of the joggers in his neighbourhood. That's about where the classic romantic elements end, as we see Jorge shopping for a number of rather alarming items and putting together something sinister-looking. It's not long before he jabs his love interest with a needle, bundles her into the boot of his car and drives off. When she comes to, she's tied to a chair and restrained with Jorge proclaiming his love for her.
You may have gathered from what's come already that there's nothing wildly revelatory. The idea of a man kidnapping a woman in an effort to make her ultimately love him is anything but new territory. With that said, there are a few nice flourishes in here – including some pretty original torture methods that I've never seen in a movie before – and Hektor Kotsifakis is actually great in the lead male role of Jorge. So much of the time he has such a sweet and friendly facade, but when he flips he turns nasty extremely quickly and is willing to go a long way to get what he wants. It's a great performance that lifts that movie about some of the similar fare. The film is shot nicely, with some strong visual images and framing too.
With that said, there are plenty of things that were slightly frustrating. The music throughout is pretty obtrusive and obnoxious, and it's certainly benefit from bringing the volume down a bit so that it doesn't get in the way of the film so much. Equally there are a couple of points in the story that are slightly silly, including an infuriating finale that left me rather turned cold. It's hard to say Luna De Miel does much that's new, but generally it does the tropes and the subgenre pretty well. It's solid rather than spectacular, and another decent entry into the horror pantheon from Mexico – a country that is bringing more and more to the field in recent times.
RATING: 6/10. A decent entry into the 'kidnap and torture' subgenre, made all the better by two good performances from the double-hander leads and some fairly original moments in there. But it's not breaking new ground in what it does, and doesn't really give us an awful lot about the characters to really stick our teeth in to. It's not a bad while to while away an hour and a half, but if you wanted something top-draw in this field you may be better to go for something like Scrapbook. Overall it's a 6/10.