Puma Rinri Amazon Lodge must be the beneficiary of the best or worst product
placement ever. That is their logo plain as day, right when the end credits
start to roll. Clearly, most of the film was shot there and it does indeed make
the resort look enticing. The scenery is spectacular and the rooms are fab, but
it is a bit of a drawback that the only observable employee is a practitioner
of the dark satanic arts. Frankly, it would probably still be worth visiting,
but that devil worshipper is not the guests’ biggest problem in Frank Pérez-Garland’s
Peruvian horror flick, Face of the Devil (trailer here), which releases on
DVD today in the UK.
father is a tad on the protective side, but understandably so, all things
considered. Years ago, a demon possessed her mother, forcing him to exorcise it
the hard way. Both father and daughter still carry the emotional scars from
that day. Nevertheless, the old man finally relents, agreeing to let Lu join
her BF and his hard-partying pals on their Andean getaway.
certainly get away from it all staying at the high mountain inn, including
things like emergency medical services. C’mon, what could go wrong, except
maybe falling prey to the Tunche. According to their spooky tales poolside
tales, the Tunche is a shapeshifting demon who stalks the mountainside. If you
hear his piercing whistle, you basically know your butt is toast. However, Face of the Devil is probably a more
evocative title than Whistle of the Tunche.
Regardless, you had better believe he is real, because the old caretaker
readily vouches for his existence.
any event, the revelers from Lima are all considerate enough to let the Tunche
stalk them in their swimwear. Aside from the schlubby Mateo, they all have fine
beach bods. However, they also have real relationships that raise the stakes
somewhat. Granted, Face is about as
predictable as most horror films, but screenwriter Vanessa Saba brings Lucero’s
backstory full circle somewhat cleverly. She is also pretty creepy appearing as
Lu’s mother in the flashback sequences.
Accinelli is perfectly presentable as Lu, but Nicolás Galindo and Carla Arriola
develop some surprisingly compelling chemistry as Mateo the plugger and the curvy
Paola, whom he so obviously carries a torch for. However, the real star of film
is the exclusive mountain retreat (it is up there with The Shining’s Overlook Hotel). If you were an ancient elemental demon
you would want to stalk victims there too. In contrast, the Tunche is
supposedly a shapeshifter, but he is mostly invisible throughout the film. At
least he is not especially sadistic, preferring to dispatch his prey quickly
and efficiently, which is rather considerate of viewers’ tolerance as well.
Location is often key in horror films, so Face’s exotic backdrop really is key to
its mojo. Largely foreswearing gore, Pérez-Garland builds up the suspense rather
nicely, while cinematographer Roberto Maceda Kohatsu and art director Cecilia
Herrera give the production a real quality look. Although not hugely ambitious
(aside from the location shooting), Pérez-Garland gets the job done.
Recommended for genre fans, Face of the
Devil is now available on DVD in the UK from Jinga Films.
Labels: DVD, Horror Movies, Peruvian Cinema