Trauma (2017)

11/30/2018 06:24

Film: Trauma

Year: 2017

Director: Lucio A. Rojas

Writer: Lucio A. Rojas

Starring: Catalina Martin, Macarena Carrere and Ximena del Solar



This film was showing on Day 3 of the Nightmares Film Festival and it was the midnight movie. It was built up that it was disturbing so I was definitely intrigued. To get into this, the official synopsis is four friends visit a rural locality of Chile and are brutally attacked by a man and his son. After not finding help in town, they decide to confront these men with the help of a pair of policemen.

We kick off in the past, the year being 1978. It was a turbulent time in the history of Chile from what I gather. From what I know from actual history, this is when a lot of South American countries were having communist revolutions. A military official has a woman strapped down. She was helping the communists and as punishment, her son is forced to rape her. She is killed during this, but before she is the man tells her that he is going to rape her daughter as well.

The film shifts to present time where we see two women coming home. One of them is Camila (Macarena Carrere) and the other is Julia (Ximena del Solar). They are couple and we get a pretty vivid sexual encounter between the two. The next morning, Camila’s phone is blowing up. The two of them are going on a vacation with Camila’s sister Andrea (Catalina Martin) and her cousin Magdalena (Dominga Bofill).

There’s an interesting dynamic that starts between these women. Andrea is clearly the responsible one. She almost takes on a motherly role and wants the best for her sister. Camila is more of a free spirit. She also seems to avoid conflict. There’s a moment where it is revealed she is moving in with Julia, but she doesn’t plan to tell her mother until after it happens. Being that this is South American, I think there’s a major disrespect factor here. Andrea also hates Julia, because she thinks she is trash. Her suspicions are confirmed when she comes on to Magdalena and does a strip tease in front of everyone. Magdalena is interesting to me as she seems shy. She is a nice person, but just doesn’t open up and when Julia takes advantage of this. I think she is entranced with how beautiful she is.

Things get a bit eerie when they get into the village. They go into a bar to ask for directions and no one is really helpful. They are sexist and just kind of stare at them. As they go to leave, they meet a young girl playing outside Yoya (Florencia Heredia). A couple of police officers pull up. There is an older one named Pedro (Eduardo Paxeco) and Diego (Claudio Riveros). Diego gives them directions as well as his number if they need anything.

The group of ladies goes to the house and settles in. Things get heavy that night when the strip tease I referenced above happens. It comes to an abrupt end though when she sees Juan (Daniel Antivilo) watching through the window. He enters the home with his son, Mario (Felipe Ríos). Things take quite the turn from here as they are brutally assaulted by the two men.

I want to move to the editing of the film here. Intercut throughout the film, we see what pushed Juan to where he is today. He is the teen who had to rape his mother in the past. He is taken in by the military official who forced him to do this and we see other depraved acts, including assaulting his baby sister. The film keeps coming back to him at different points in his life and the horrible things he did and had to do to survive. I thought that actually helps with the tension of this film. He is hardened into the monster he is and did the same thing to his own son. This all culminates into an ending I wasn’t actually expecting.

With such a heavy story, this film actually has some really good acting to go along with it. I thought Martin is solid as the strong female here. She is the one that is the most level-headed, but I also find it interesting that she is the one that doesn’t want to go save the little girl Yoya when she is taken. I think part of this is that we know the local police have been letting Juan get away with the atrocious acts he’s been committing and she just wants to save herself. It is hard to blame her, but I found it interesting it is actually Carrere who wants to be the hero. I do like this character development for her as she is such an aloof character to start. Solar is the wild one that a film like this needs. It actually brings up the issue of sexuality that she had it coming to her as she freely takes her clothes off. I disagree with this, but Solar is still a horrible girlfriend. My favorite of the group was Bofill as I found her cute, but also I liked her shyness. What happens to her really hit me as she is kind of naïve too. Antivilo and Paxeco are great as the monsters, but part of me also feels bad for what drove them to it. It is a learned behavior. I also liked both of the cops as well. The rest of the cast are fine for the roles that they were casted in, they round out the film.

What really made this film come to life though were the effects. I would actually put this film up with The Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave in how brutal the rape scenes are. They really made me feel comfortable. They did go practical with most of the effects and they also looked good, especially the blood. I did have some issues as they did go CGI with at least one gunshot and I know there was another scene as well. That didn’t look as good and it took me out of the film.

As for the score, for the most part it didn’t really stand out to me. It also didn’t hurt the film, which I actually like more. The only scene that I can recall is the strip tease by Julia and the music that is playing is actually ambient. Aside from that I don’t really recall it.

Now with that said, this film is pretty heavy. The best way to sum this up would be an extreme rape revenge film. This is a modern take on the 1970’s rape revenge or the French Extreme films. It is interesting that the story is taking something that really happened in Chile and this is actually based on real events. It is crazy the lengths that the country would go to prevent communist and created monsters much worse that are human. I though the acting was really good in this film and the editing was solid to build in the back-story as the film progressed. The effects were good for the most part; I did have some issues with some CGI though. The score didn’t really stand out aside from one scene. I don’t recommend this one to everyone, but if you are into the more extreme films, I think this one comes with a much more complex story that is actually interesting to see play out. I would say that this was a good film and worth a viewing.


My Rating: 9 out of 10