Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Untamed

I don't understand why The Untamed isn't Ant Timpson's Incredibly Strange section of the NZIFF, because there is no doubt that this is a very strange Mexican film. Most of the film is a family sexual drama between bi-sexual Angel, his wife Alejandra (and 2 little boys) and Fabián his homosexual brother-in-law. Angel is in denial about his sexuality and acts as a crass homophobe in public. Circling the family and precipitating the crisis is free spirit and outsider, Veronica. Veronica is obsessed by an alien creature that we don't get to see for most of the film and that not directly related to most of the action.

Veronica is treated in hospital by Fabián for a "dog" bite to her abdomen and she later entices him to experience something amazing in the woods (that she refuses to describe). The alien lives in a darkened room in an off the grid house in the woods owned by a middle aged scientist and his wife. (We all know to be wary of the cabin in the woods, don't we?). They don't mind people visiting the alien and are happy to provide refreshments and advice.

It turns out that while visiting the alien is an amazing experience for some people it can be less so for others. The consequences tear Angel and Alejandra's family apart, but Veronica's role in the matter remains secret. Undeterred (or perhaps obsessed) Veronica takes Alejandra to visit the house in the woods too.

While it is not mentioned in the film it seems that the alien has a sexual preference but even if it likes you it can be risky to visit, hence the title.

Despite the labels, there is very little science fiction in the film and even less horror. It is mostly a realistic drama about adult relationships with a slightly horrifying, yet enticing alien hiding in a dark corner of a house in the woods and a fair bit of sex. Pleasure and violence are the main themes of the film, especially how sexual pleasure motivates people's actions.

Ian's rating 3/5

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