Wednesday, November 18, 2009

La habitación del niño (The Baby’s Room) (2006) and Para entrar a vivir (To Let) (2006)

Part of the 6 Películas para no dormir anthology (6 Films to Keep You Awake), this double-feature is scary. More psychological than gory (although you do get gore), both features play upon some of our deepest-seeded fears. In La habitación del niño, a Spanish couple—Sonia (Leonor Watling) and Juan (Javier Gutiérrez)—and their baby, move into their dream home: a lovely fixer-upper in need of serious work. When Juan’s sister and brother-in-law stop by for an unannounced visit, it’s not just frustration they cause. They leave the couple with a set of baby monitors to enable them to keep tabs on their boy without having to leave their room. When the baby monitors seem to malfunction, Juan invests in a infra-red video monitor so they can not only hear but also see baby, which leads to the trouble. Juan starts seeing an intruder in the baby’s room; problem is Sonia doesn’t. Is it in Juan’s imagination or is there paranormal activity in the baby’s room? And, who is this strange woman who speaks about no good coming out of their new home? The couple’s relationship suffers as Juan’s sanity is questioned, but what is he seeing in that monitor? The size of the house and it’s mess create an eerie atmosphere.

Co-writer/Director: Álex de la Iglesia

Country: Spain

Genre: Thriller/Horror

Run time: 77 minutes

Scale: 4

Flip the DVD and escalate the creepy factor in Para entrar a vivir, an even creepier movie. This time, the couple at center is seeking a new apartment. Mario (Adrià Collado) convinces pregnant Clara (Macarena Gómez) to check out an unbelievably priced place. Clara fights him on it—she’s tired, got a headache and just isn’t up for it, but Mario insists—price is too good. As Mario drives there, Clara falls asleep. Upon awaking, a torrential rainstorm is coming down. They arrive to the barren neighborhood in the outskirts of an area with which they aren’t familiar. Just as Clara is trying to convince Mario to just drive off, the rental agent (Nuria González) meets them outside and convinces them to come on in, as they are already here. As they are viewing the flat, the agent keeps talking to them as if the place is already theirs. Clara snaps at her and the agent suggests she lie down. In the bedroom, Mario discovers his old sneakers, but how did they get there…he chucked them a week ago? And, the picture of Clara and Mario bike riding…who took it and how did it get here? Getting out of this pickle proves more difficult than simply walking out, as the young couple soon finds. If you like scary stuff, check these out. Not sure about the remaining four in the anthology…but if you see them, let me know what you think.

Co-writer/Director: Jaume Balagueró

Country: Spain

Genre: Thriller/Horror

Run time: 68 minutes

Scale: 4.5

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