Memories of the Dead (La Memoria Del Muerto)

You could cut this film to the first five minutes prior to the opening credits and I would tell you that this is one of the most terrifying movies I’ve seen in years, if only because it captures one of my deepest fears.

I think that deep down inside everyone fears walking up and discovering their partner dead.

This is actually fairly intelligent horror, which is a nice departure from some of the movies that American houses put out. An Argentinian film, La Memoria centers around a group of friends being brought together in the country for the reading of Jorge’s last letters. What happens next is a slide through grieving, ghosts, and demons of a variety of natures. I’ve seen reviews that liken the set direction to Argento, and they do have that lush richness of a stage play but with a lot more moodiness and less harsh lighting.

Where I find the connections to Argento is in costuming and cosmetic choices. If you dislike the American trope of overly friendly and too clean, you’ll find this movie to be a welcome departure. This group of friends looks like people.

There’s a little bit of Hammer in this movie too, with the way that the cast is shot and some of the prop designs. There is one prop in particular that links back to the man who dies before the film even starts, that is very classic horror (or Night Gallery, even) in its design. I love it.

This movie is really creepy, is the thing. I do read too much folklore but there’s something very traditional death folkloric to the piece, with the set up of the beginning of the haunt and the framing. Those who are lost finding the lost, the dead finding their own, the animals, the creepy, creepy children. The rotting living.

There’s a definite vein of gallows and black humor running through the movie but you may have to dig for it. However, the movie’s effective even if you’re not picking up on all the references.

I’m not sure how I stand on the ending other than saying, well played, team, well played. I think I should take issue with the way the ending plays out (nothing like building on stereotypes) but I didn’t see it coming, it’s not overused, and it actually ties up one of the plot holes that I thought I saw coming.

I’m not sure if this movie’s available with a dub. Spanish with English subtitles.


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