Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"The Condemned": a new "haunted mansion" thriller from Puerto Rico, with medical (even Holocaust) overtones


The Condemned” (“Los condenados”) is a new film by Roberto Buso-Garcia from Puerto Rico, which seems like a somewhat minimalist combination of “The Shining” (April 14) and “Shutter Island”.

Ana (Christina Rodlo) travels to the town of Rosales to restore her dying father’s family mansion itno a public museum to honor his anti-cancer work.  Soon, she has to deal with hostile, impoverished townspeople (the mansion is an oasis in a decaying town).  Then the house, where the father lies upstairs, starts acting haunted. 

It isn’t too long before the awful truth about what the father really did to patients starts to leak out.  If this happened to me, I wouldn’t want to live.  Remember, though, forty years ago, when radiation treatment was becoming more common, it had many more side effects, including cosmetic (such as permanent hair loss) than it does today, where it can be internally targeted. (A particularly graphic picture of the aftermath of radiation for Hodgkin's Disease on a male chest from a 1979 medical textbook comes to mind.)  
  
The film has a particularly interesting visual effect with a ceiling to floor chandelier, which fairly shakes when the ghosts roam.
  
The DVD will be available from Strand on May 7, 2013.  I did the review from a private Vimeo screener.

The film is in Spanish. I don't recall an important indie film from Puerto Rico before. 

The official site is here

Don’t confuse with a 2007 "thriller" film with the same (English) name. 

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