Ánimas – aka Animas [“Spirit”] – is a 2018 Spanish horror feature film written and directed by Laura Alvea and Jose F. Ortuño. The movie stars Ángela Molina, Luis Bermejo, Iván Pellicer and Chacha Huang.
Alex is a confident girl with a strong personality and great tenacity. She’s very close to her best friend Abraham, to whom she provides constant help and support, as Abraham is a shy, withdrawn and insecure boy, mainly due to the complex relationship between he and his parents.
However, everything changes when Daniel – Abraham’s father – dies in a strange accident, the cause of which is unclear.
From this moment on, Alex finds herself on a hallucinatory journey that takes her on a descent into Hell, where the line between reality and nightmare becomes blurred to the point that Alex begins to question the foundations of her very existence…
“There’s a dourness to the movie, a self-seriousness that won’t make it anyone’s favorite escapist flick […] In the end, it’s Alvea and Ortuño that emerge as Ánimas’ stars. Every frame emerges as composed, and their capacity for delivering well-earned scares is finely tuned […] it certainly deserves to be seen.” Randall Colburn, Consequence of Sound
“Animas doesn’t depend on dialogue. It doesn’t have to since there isn’t much story to tell. As skilled as Durant and Pellicer are at communicating without words and connecting to viewers through visible emotions, “Animas” still suffers from a script whose gaps in substance are filled with laboriously long takes of walking, stalking, or just looking around in dark rooms.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt
” …it is quite the slow burner at first. A bit too much for my taste, but it does make up for a lot of it later on. If you don’t give it a chance, then you’ll probably give up on it. And that would be a shame even though it does take too long to get to the good stuff. Don’t worry, the craziness does actually make sense in the end.” Karin Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror
” …from moment to moment, the strange case of Alex and Abraham only matters for what it allows the filmmakers to do: overhead shots, optical zooms, super-impositions, and dramatic lighting. Ánimas is a sort of ghost story, but the spirits here are mostly just visiting from other films.” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times
“Although disorganized and a little incoherent in places, Ánimas is an entertaining watch with a meaningful ending. All in all the movie tackles some dark and pressing issues including abuse, self-harm, and mental health, providing viewers with a heartfelt, yet chilling movie-going experience.” Kelly Potter, Ready Steady Cut!
“This Spanish thriller is dripping in aesthetic splendor though and the twist at the end goes a long way to tie everything up in a satisfying manner. While other films have told this sort of story around depression and repressed memories with more flair and bravado, Animas is a decent effort nonetheless and one well worth checking out.” Greg Wheeler, The Review Geek
“I’m not going to pretend there weren’t times I was tempted to stop watching this. The characters are very surface level, in terms of development, the twists and turns are okay, but nothing to tell all your friends about, and while there are jump scares, they act as alarms to attempt to engage you.” Amari Sali, Wherever I Look
Ánimas premiered at the Sitges Film Festival on 4 October 2018 and is streaming on Netflix US in January 2019.
Cast and characters:
- Ángela Molina … Karla Berger
- Luis Bermejo … Daniel
- Iván Pellicer … Abraham
- Chacha Huang … Anchi
- Clare Durant … Álex
- Liz Lobato … Laura
Seville, Andalucía, Spain
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