Directed by Sergio Morcillo
Spanish language with English subtitles
16 year old Marta, orphaned two years previously, is going through a rough time. Her body and mind aches from the crippling pain inside, impacting her life, but is the source of the pain and fear she feels more real than she imagines?
Spanish director Sergio Morcillo is a filmmaker who’s always on my radar thanks to his engaging, emotional and atmospheric approach to cinema. His previous films such as Your Screams Make Me Laugh and You’re Gonna Die Tonight both showcase his visual flair and his latest short film GOTAS is no different.
In the short film, young woman Marta is clearly tormented and pained by something in her life. The shots of red flooding the scream immediately screamed out to me as menstrual pain, particularly when the young woman grips her stomach during her ballet practice. However, eventually this pain manifests into something much more terrifying as she comes face-to-face with a horrifying creature squatting on her kitchen worktop. The contorted body of the naked creature coupled with the flickering of the sideboard lamp from white to red light really sets the viewer on edge. Just what the hell is going on and how can Marta rid herself of this pain eating away at her life?
GOTAS is an attack on the senses and explores many things, such as self esteem, grief and sexuality, all within its short running time of 15 minutes. It plays out like a surreal blend of an Argento film mixed in with a creature horror of a Doug Jones variety before coming to its final realisation of what it actually is and that is where the bleak reality is revealed. GOTAS isn’t afraid of reaching some dark places and explores a subject I’ve never really come across before in cinema; a plot twist that leaves a lasting impression long after the credits roll.
The cast of the short film play it cool by not being over dramatic which can easily be done with horrors. This subject material deserves a more subtle handling and lead actress Marina Romero plays the tormented Marta beautifully. She brings a panic-stricken intensity when needs to but also reflects a sensitive, fragile side that has endured pain. The culmination of the film sees her character develop into a much stronger person leaving the meek Marta a distant memory.
Displaying a fine balance of heart-wrenching emotion and intensity, GOTAS manages to convincingly blend two distinct types of horror and pull it off marvellously. Not afraid to be different, the film delivers on all levels, further reinforcing that Sergio Morcillo is a filmmaking force to be reckoned with.
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