Maus aka The Maus – Spain, 2017

Maus – aka – The Maus is a 2017 fantasy horror film written and directed by Yayo Herrero [as Gerardo Herrero Pereda]. It stars August Wittgenstein, Alma Terzic and Ella Jazz.

Alex and Selma are a couple in love on a trip to the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Suddenly, Selma feels somebody chasing them. She clings to her Muslim amulet, “hamajlija”, causing the mysterious force to emerge from the forest…

“As the story expands, it takes into account a much larger picture; it is both an examination of the state of the nation and a horror story. The forest becomes a prison for all the characters who desperately fight against their own prejudices and try not to repeat the mistakes of the past. It’s this fight that Yayo Herrero is most interested in exploring with his sharp eye.” Evrim Ersoy, Fantastic Fest

“It is good when the characters do not know where they are, it is even acceptable to keep the viewers in the same type of dark from time to time. But if it is the case with the director, that is not going to end well. Herrero had enough ideas for a short to mid-length film and he is clearly technically accomplished to pull it of, but a feature, even though it is a simple “slasher in the woods” trope, has proven to be too much for him.” Marko Stojiljkovic, A Film a Week

“Horror has long been an excellent vehicle for political messaging, though rarely this concise and direct. If one could imagine Maus as an apolitical horror movie, it would be a fair film, though particularly cruel and unforgiving. But the voice of the creator uplifts it, and as a Trojan horse for its humanist sociopolitical messaging, it is excellent.” Emmet Duff, Goomba Stomp

“The assured feature debut of writer/director Yayo Herrero, it introduces just enough hints of the supernatural and the transgressively political to inspire post-screening conversations — some of which will conclude that the ingredients don’t quite add up. Few will argue, though, with the effectiveness of its trapped-in-the-woods tension and the potency of its simmering ethnic hatred.” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

Maus brilliantly uses horror tropes—the “backwoods” killer, the victim / final girl, shocking violence—to represent war’s indelible after-effects. And the vision is a chillingly nihilistic one. All of Alex’s blind optimism (the Serbians mockingly call him “Europe”) about how they can all get along is proved tragically wrong […] It’s a difficult film to watch but one that is thoroughly worth the effort.” Dawn Keetley, Horror Home Room

Cast and characters:

  • August Wittgenstein … Alex
  • Alma Terzic … Selma
  • Ella Jazz … Ella
  • Aleksandar Seksan … Vuk
  • Sanin Milavic … Milos
  • Diana Fernández Pérez … Maus

Filming locations:

El Espinar, Segovia, Castilla y León and Canary Islands, Spain

IMDb

Image credits: Horror Home Room

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Categories: 2017, rural horror, Spanish

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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