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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Appeared (2007) - Horror Ghost

The Appeared (2007) - Aparecidos is a ghost, serial killer type thriller wrapped around the living history of post Pinochet Chile. Siblings Melena (Ruth Diaz) and Pablo (Javier Pereira) are called to the hospital where their Father is dying. The estranged man is brain dead and they must prove who they are in order to shut off his machines. The bureaucracy proves difficult and the documents they need are away in a small town of their youth. Adding to the need for a road trip is that Pablo wants to see where his father is from. So taking their Father's car they head to the past metaphorically and a bit literally.

At an early pee stop, Pablo sees, or imagines a girl digging at the wheel weld of the car. Investigating he finds a diary. It is no ordinary diary though. As he explores it he sees it outlines the travels of one of Pinochet's doctors. In this case a man who hunted down, tortured then killed people who were thought to be socialist or communist, or teachers, artist, possibly anyone who was against the military dictatorship. The writing and Polaroids show Pablo and the viewer, that trip long ago was almost twenty years to the day. Pablo works his sister to retrace the steps of the killer while on the way to the old family house.
This is when the film takes more of a ghost story feel and tempo. It does a nice job of getting the past story of the hunted fugitives to interact with the siblings in the present. Can actions today change the past? Can Pablo and Melena do anything to change a fate that has already happened? The story is so much more than this device, it allows the viewer to learn about the era of Pinochet through these characters while they in turn are exposed to some amazing revelations within their own story.
Not wanting to spoil this fine film at all no further plot point will be discussed. It should be noted that the film goes from ghost movie to thriller and does a really fine job at it. Writer /Director Paco Cabezas does an excellent job on creating a multi levelled story with subtext and meaning. In the end you are left with the desire to learn of the injustices of that time in Chile.
Rating (7.5) 5.0 and up are recommended, in the Zombiegrrlz system I would own it!

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