Continuing our coverage for Fantasia 2016 (Currently running in Montreal all the way till August 3rd), we just saw “White Coffin” (Original title: “Ataud Blanco: El Juego Diabolico”), a film from Argentina that grabs your attention from the start with a very simple premise, and manages to keep you at the edge of your seat all the way until the credits roll. The movie never pulls any punches to remind us that the cruelest of the beasts can be man itself, and that there are things worse than death.
In this film we meet Virginia, a mother that just left her husband, and that after a careless act, finds herself in a race against time to rescue her daughter from some twisted individuals that plan to sacrifice the child in a pagan ritual. Having only some vague directions from a mysterious stranger as clues, Virginia discover much to her terror, that she is not the only one in this frantic search, and that in order to save her daughter, she will have to leave her moral limits on the side, otherwise both will be dead by sunset.
I enjoyed this film very much, and to say more about the plot it would be a crime. Being the premise of “White Coffin” as simple as I described above, in my opinion it works like a charm due good acting, a fast and steady pace, and that the story does not shy way in order to not offend sensibilities when is time to show how cruel and F-up some people can be just because they can. Although there were many opportunities, the film never fell into scenes of extreme gratuitous violence, nor tried to shock the audience with cheap tricks, instead tried (successfully) to put us in the shoes of some of the characters and seriously ask ourselves: Would we do anything different in order to save our loved ones?
On the technical side, there were a couple of times where I thought I noticed some green screen lines on the actors, but it could be my imagination. I thought the editing was very good, and the camerawork was done very well. The film never fell into “Drunken Camera” shots so we can always see clearly what is happening, and that is something that I appreciate immensely these days. The film has few special effects, but they are very good, and we get a healthy dose of blood and gore, however the best chills are left for scenes where our imagination becomes an accomplice of the story.
The film only runs for 72 minutes, and it was great to see that no one decided to pad the movie with cliches or needless long scenes that would have not help the story just to complete the standard 90 minutes run, for if they had, the story would have been damaged and turned into just another forgettable Hollywood movie.
The film was directed by Daniel de la Vega (Necrophobia 3D, Blood Brothers) and written by Adrian Garcia Bogliano and Ramiro Garcia Bogliano (Who wrote among other films “Cold Sweat”, “Penumbra” and “The Accursed”). In the cast we see Julieta Cardinal, Rafael Ferrero and Eleonora Wexler.
In the end , “White Coffin” (Original title: “Ataúd Blanco: El Juego Diabólico”) is an excellent film that deserves your attention, for the moment is doing its runs at festivals like Fantasia Film Festival, however be sure to not miss it when it gets released on theaters. In my case, I am also going to check the previous productions of this creative team, because this film was to me a great presentation card that increased my curiosity about their work.
Fantasia Film Festival is on its 20th edition, and has always been know for showing some of the best films in the Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi genres, currently running thru August 3rd. You can visit their official website to see more of the great material they are showing this year, and follow them in social media.