Following a traumatic event that fractures the psyche of a female filmmaker named Vega, her family decides she needs some time to herself in order to regain her sanity. Her father drives her to a remote building, where she takes up residence in a long-empty apartment. Suffering from extreme paranoia, social anxiety and chronic agoraphobia, Vega has cameras installed all over the flat and sequesters herself in it, occasionally spying on her creepy neighbours through the peephole. It’s soon revealed that while Vega was shooting a bullfighting documentary in Bogotá, Colombia, a deranged attacker launched a Molotov cocktail into the dense crowd, scorching many of its attendees. Among them her assistant director and boyfriend Jairo, whom she did not attempt to save despite having a premonition about his ill fortune earlier that day.
Anguished and unable to reach out to Jairo by telephone, Vega suffers quietly until she’s disturbed by strange noises, random power outages, tinkling clothes hangers and, worst of all, frightening visions of a woman in a red dress bathing in a bloodied bathtub… her bathtub. Is Vega being haunted by a vengeful ghost from the past? Are her neighbours cruelly driving her further into madness? Or is she just plain crazy?
If Al Final del Espectro sounds a little familiar, it’s because the film liberally borrows from American remakes of haunted tenement J-horror films like Dark Water> and The Grudge> with a dash of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion thrown in for paranoid tension. Voyeuristic cinematography -- Vega’s activities are often witnessed via her own surveillance cameras and long shots that allow the audience to see through the eyes of whoever is watching -- is complemented by claustrophobic soundscapes (by co-writer Carlos Esteban Orozco) and unnerving visual effects of crablike apparitions with long black hair on loan from the trendy Japanese horror movement. But it’s the film’s coming from Colombia, a country that turns out very few horror films, that makes this apparent boilerplate unique. Not surprisingly, it’s already been slated for an American remake. Prepared to be scared, en Espańol.
Director: Juan Felipe Orozco
Screenplay: Carlos Esteban Orozco, Juan Felipe Orozco
Cast: Noëlle Schonwald
Silvia De Dios
Manuel José Chávez
Producers: Alejandro Arango, Juan Felipe Orozco, Alejandro Ángel Ortega
Distributor: Lumina Films
2006 | 21 min
Portugese language, English subtitles