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One of the spookiest movies I ever saw was made in Spain and had English subtitles. It is called “The Orphanage” (2007). It was so good of a thriller that even my teenage daughters got over their initial objection of reading subtitles and became engrossed in the intriguing movie.
Now again from Spain comes a new film, with many of the creators of “The Orphanage,” including its female star.
“The Body,” showing at 7 p.m. today at YES Cinema, is a psychological thriller that Alfred Hitchcock surly would have loved. In fact, a couple of scenes are direct tributes to his films.
The movie begins with a bang as a man races through the woods at night and then runs into the road and is hit by a car. The police learn the man was a security guard at a morgue who fled in terror from his post. And one of the bodies is missing from the morgue.
The chief police investigator and his team seal off the morgue and start looking for evidence of what happened to the body of the missing woman.
They bring in her husband for questioning. He could be the only one who can lead them to an answer regarding her mysterious disappearance, as he is the only one who knows all of her secrets (and his, as well).
As the night goes on, a storm closes the roads and isolates the morgue, and a series of strange events occur.
Did the young husband murder his nasty, manipulative, older wife? After all, he was having an affair — and his wife was worth millions of dollars. Or did the wife fake her death in an elaborate revenge scheme? Flashbacks give the viewer lots of clues. Things go bump in the night at the morgue, and any viewer is apt to jump once or twice.
The film has it all — tension, drama, mystery, sex, plot twists and shocks, including decent scares with tense sequences. An unexpected denouement is surprisingly good — even if some might find it coming out of left field — and compellingly realized.
The cast is good, with José Coronado as the inspector who bears a dark past; Hugo Silva as the scheming husband; Aura Garrido as Carla, the young lover; and Belén Rueda as Mayka (the missing body), a selfish and domineering woman who loves to demean her husband with jokes. The movie has fine dark photography and a suspenseful and stirring musical score.
The film’s scares are not of the gross variety, although there is one brief graphic shot of a dead woman’s mangled face. There is only a quick shot of nudity. There is some cursing – in Spanish, of course.
Overall, “The Body” is like an episode of the old “Columbo” TV series if perhaps Alfred Hitchcock had directed it. When I stop looking behind doors, I give it a grade of “A.”
Columbus’ Ron Adams is a television and film buff and a staffer at YES Cinema, which is presenting movies in the national Gathr Film Series every Thursday.
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