La Casa (2019)

02/09/2021 06:37

Film: The House (La Casa)

Year: 2019

Director: Jorge Olguín

Writer: Jorge Olguín

Starring: Carol Campos, Camila Carreño and Gabriel Cañas



This was a movie that I only heard about thanks to Marknado and his list of what movies were being released in January 2021. It was made into a Featured Review on my podcast when the older movie was from South America and seeing this was from Chile, it was good enough for me. Aside from that, I came into this one pretty blind. The synopsis here is inspired by real events, responding to an urgent call for help, a police officer becomes trapped by the evil spirits of a cursed house.

For this movie, we start off with getting different reports about a haunted house. Coupling with that, we learn that in the 1970’s and 1980’s there was a curfew in Chile. The police would then check abandoned buildings and this movie here is based on an actual case when this happened with this specific house we’ve been learning about.

We then meet our police officer from the synopsis. His name is Arrigada (Gabriel Cañas). He uses a payphone to call his significant other and we know something happened between them. He tries to apologize, but she’s quite upset still. It ends with her hanging up and him being agitated. Back in his car, the dispatcher reaches out to any officers in the area he is in. Someone called in seeing someone in the yard of a building after curfew. Arrigada responds to check it out.

He arrives at the gate and doesn’t see anything at first. We see a creepy woman, who I believe is Camila Carreño, staring at him. She is wounded, but she disappears before he can see. When he hears screams, he reports it in and then decides to check it out. He hears it again and goes inside. He requests back up, but it won’t be there for close to an hour. This becomes a traumatic night for him as he encounters other specters and even possible a demon. Can he survive this ordeal though?

Now my recap here is a bit short, but to be honest, there isn’t a lot to the story. I was actually questioning some things when I started writing this to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. I was excited to see the low runtime of 75 minutes. The downside here is that it flies by without really giving us any substance. Hindsight being what it is, if this movie is inspired by real events, there is that fine line of just adding things to add it and lose some of the real story.

I don’t want you think that I hated this movie as that is not the case. This movie creeped me out. It is effective with building the atmosphere along with scares. We get a ghost that is hung, portrayed by Carol Campos, along with the ghost girl, a ghost man who is played by Carlos Cortez and then a demon who is done by Felipe Silva Rodriguez. There are times where one of the ghosts will appear. Arriagada might see them or it could be just us. When they do these things, it is unnerving to me. The demon tends to be involved with more jump-scares. Regardless, I think the effects which include the blood on these ghosts looks good. There could be a bit of CGI with the demon from what I remember as well.

Where I want to take this next would be the cinematography. This movie is shot with a handheld camera. The quality is fine, but the camera is quite shaky. It almost feels like we’re getting a found footage movie at times, but it isn’t technically in that sub-genre. There is a more personal feel to the movie with this. The camera will be in the backseat to the character and for the most part, we are seeing Arriagada and his reactions to things. It will also look at something spooky, look away and come back. When it does, nothing is there. This is used pretty strategic at times.

I will then take it to the acting. We really only get Cañas’ performance and I think does well in his role. It is interesting that we hear him over the phone in his first scene. From there he responds to the call and it is hinted that there could be a scandal over the radio with dispatch. I think the movie would have been better suited to develop or give us more of this story here. It is one of my problems that there’s no meat on the bones of this story. As I’m going through this review to post it, they could have incorporated his issues at home more into the ordeal in the house to build as well. His acting along with the voices of dispatch, his ex and those playing entity are fine.

That is all I really wanted to go into with this movie. This is shorter, but I think I’ve explained and went into everything that I can here. I think this movie does a great job with establishing the concept and building the spooky atmosphere. What it is lacking though is actually fleshing out enough of the story. The movie runs 75 minutes and I found myself losing interest as there wasn’t enough for me to sink into. The acting is solid. The effects we get for the most are fine and the cinematography works. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the soundtrack that helps build the feel for this movie. Overall though, this is above average. I think with a bit more; we really could have had something here.


My Rating: 6 out of 10