f THE PAGAN IMAGE - Edwin Pagán's Media Discussion Sound Board

THE PAGAN IMAGE - Edwin Pagán's Media Discussion Sound Board

Thursday, April 22, 2010

LA CASA MUDA (The Silent House) Speaks Volumes to Horror Fans

The stuff of horror and the conventions filmmakers use to frighten us are nothing new: science has not discovered any new human emotion to tamper with, and the filmmaker's toolbox has contained the same tricks or treats for over a 100 years now (more or less); it's all been done before. But an original story with an approach that speaks to the director's singular vision will always feel fresh and sincere.

First impressions are everything, and judging from the trailer of La Casa Muda (The Silent House), Uruguayan national Gustavo Hernández is set to put that South American region, mostly known for its agriculture, on the international map of horror, as well bring more exposure to the genre of Latin-based horror. Especially since it was announced just yesterday that La Casa Muda was selected to be among the 24 films that will showcase as part of this year's Directors’ Fortnight during the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. La Casa is Uruguay's official entry.

(not to mention that sci-fi phenom Federico Alvárez will shoot part of the feature-length version of his extremely virulent short Panic Attack! in Uruguay later this year, too)

The story of La Casa Muda centers on a father and daughter team who settle into a dilapidated cottage to begin to make some much-needed repairs. And as an organically built-in metaphor to the director's land-locked country, that is surrounded on three sides by Brazil and Argentina, the protagonists soon find themselves with only one possible way out of their dire dilemma - directly through the unknown evil force that threatens their very existence. The story, we are told, is based on true events that took place in Uruguay in 1944. This detail makes the premise instantly all the more intriguing in The Blair Witch Project kind of way (but hopefully with a genuine payoff). And given what we've seen so far, we think there will be.

La Casa Muda is shot in a single, continuous 78-minute take using a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) Canon's D5—a still camera with the added capacity to shoot full 1080 HD video (part of that 'more or less' equation). The film's look is a marvel given the technology utilized (the D5s were first generation, buggy and tempermental units) and the credit goes to cinematographer Pedro Luque. Producer Gustavo Rojo also needs to be singled out for effectively managing such an enormouse orchastration and coming out the other side with a production as visually rich on only a shoe-string budget: around $6,000!

The film follows in the footsteps of other shake-and-brake films with its use of hand-held camera work (think Cloverfield and District 9). But unlike those nausea-inducing pills that ran amok in their sprawling environments, La Casa is more in line with its Spanish counterpart, REC (with whom it shares a few similarities), bound to close quarters with movement more an innate byproduct of the story than a forced joyride. Kudos go to DP Luque again for striking a visual balance (incidently, it should be noted here that Luque also shot the eye-catching Panic Attack!). Similarly like REC, it is also a first-person point-of-viewer.

But apart from all the semantics, the film's real power lies its ability to take away our safety net by focusing on the true and tried basics of fear without relying on ungrounded gimmicks or CGI. It's hard to do that when the camera doesn't stop rolling. The filmmaker's astutely bill this as "Real fear in real time." What lies in the shadows is as important as what we are allowed to see; the mind fills in the blanks. And we cannot pause, rewind, or make it stop until its final conclusion.

Making us feel powerless in the dark, now that's true horror.

Ladies and gentlemen, Gustavo Hernández has left the building...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución" / BLOODY MARY COCKTAIL SHOTS

Dear LATIN HORRORphiles:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the overwhelming response to LATIN HORROR and it series of Latin horror screenings. Your support is going a long way toward getting the word out about this venture to put this very worthwhile genre on the map.

I also wanted to inform you that we now have many more RSVPs than the capacity of the Anthology Film Archives will allow for the "The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución" screenings, taking place on Saturday, April 4th. And since it's "general seating," I encourage you to come early and purchase your ticket(s) at the box office to ensure entry.

AND, if you arrive between 6:30 and 7pm, we will have complimentary "bloody mary" cocktail shots in the lobby for all our guests as a way to get you into the LATIN HORROR mood.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

3:53 Trailer Online

Dear LATIN HORRORphiles:

Here is a link to the trailer for Shawna Baca's film, 3:52 (staring America Ferrera), which is showcasing April 4th as part of "The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución" screenings hosted by LATIN HORROR at Anthology Film Archives.

We hope you join us on April 4th and support the genre of Latin horror.



Sunday, February 22, 2009

"THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT" [Remake] Trailer.


Courtesy Trailer Addict:


Thursday, February 19, 2009


The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución"


LATIN HORROR, in association with ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES, cordially invite you to another special edition of the NewLatino Filmmakers Screening Series — "The HORRORphiles #2 - Scaring up a Revolución" — featuring the work of emerging Latino/a directors working within the genre of horror.

Saturday, April 4, 2009 ~ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue @ 2nd Street (Lower East Side)
New York, NY

Full program details coming soon.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LATIN HORROR is hitting the bricks..

Dear LATIN HORRORphiles:

In our quest to ensure that the Latin horror movement seed begins to bear fruit, we are designing a series of advertisements entitled GET YOUR HORROR ON! designed to bring more like-mind folk into the ranks of the revolution.

When time allows, please take a moment and check out the first one we are releasing starting today. Of course, feedback is always welcome. And since this is an entirely grassroots effort, word-of-mouth is an indispensable part of making this a successful publicity push. So please pass it on to your fellow "dark creative expressionists" or anyone else you know who simply is a fan of horror.


Thanks so much for the ongoing support.


Saturday, February 14, 2009



We just wanted to convey how much we treasure your support of LATIN HORROR, especially in these early days of developing the fan-base that is allowing us to "scare up a revolution." Please take a moment and read our special message to you at --


AND, if you'd like to share a piece of your heart with a loved one, just copy the image here --


With horrorific respect,