Terrified (Atterados) (2017) | Discussion, Recommendations & Spoilers | Film Review
Terrified (Atterados) (2017) is an Argentinian supernatural horror film written and directed by Demian Rugna. The film stars Maximiliano Ghione, Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George L. Lewis, Julieta Vallina, Demian Salomon and Agustin Rittano. The film was released in Argentina on May 3, 2018 and distributed by Aura Films.
As of March 29, 2022, the film is streaming in the United States on AMC+, Shudder, Direct TV and Spectrum On Demand. The film is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Apple iTunes, Google Play and Microsoft Store.
In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Clara (Natalia Senorales), who we see is the kitchen of her house. As she cleans some dishes and prepares to make dinner, she hears voices coming from the drain in the kitchen sink. As she leans closer to hear what they are saying, she becomes frightened. Clara leans into to look down the drain and sees a soap bubble covering the drain. As she watches, the bubble expands and contracts as if someone is breathing on it from down in the drain.
We aren't able to hear what the voice is saying, but it scares Clara enough that she tells her husband Juan (Agustin Rittano) when comes home and enters the kitchen. Juan asks Clara why she hasn't started making dinner and she tells him that she couldn't because she was listening to voices coming from the drain. Juan tells her that since the house is old, she could be hearing clanking pipes or their neighbor, Walter (Demian Salomon), who is renovating his house. Clara tells Juan it wasn't clanking pipes or Walter, it was human voices she was hearing and they were talking about murdering her.
Juan runs water down the drain, but doesn't hear any voices speaking. He is certain that Clara just heard Walter or someone else talking and Clara is mistaken. They go to bed and Juan is awoken early in the morning as Clara goes to take a shower. She is acting strange and it seems as if he believes she is just tired. Juan soon hears loud thumping and believing the noise to be caused by Walter, he becomes angry and bangs on the wall, telling Walter to stop. However, Juan soon realizes that the thumping is coming from the bathroom and enters to see Clara hovering vertically over the bathtub and blood all over the walls.
Clara is seemingly being held up by an unseen force that is slamming her body from wall to wall. She is either unconscious or dead and Juan desperately tries to get a hold of Clara so he can help her. He is unable to help her before she succumbs to her injuries and he is unable to logically explain what has happened to Clara. We see later in the film that he has been committed to a psychiatric hospital and several paranormal researchers are interested in the phenomena he and Clara experienced before she was murdered. It turns out there have been similar occurrences and they are interested in studying the phenomena.
We also find out that two of Juan's neighbors, Walter and Alicia (Julieta Vallina), have also been experiencing strange phenomena. The rest of film follows the stories of Walter, Juan and Alicia as they try to figure out what is happening in their neighborhood and the researchers that try to use their knowledge of similar phenomena to solve the mystery of the strange occurrences.
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*Discussion contains spoilers
I have to be honest, this film creeped me out. There's not many films that I have either turned off or wanted to turn off, but this was one that I almost stopped watching. In the beginning of the film, when the mysterious force is murdering Clara, it was so unexpected and violent, it really bothered me.
It's rare to have an actor you perceive to be a main character killed off so quickly in a film and even though I was worried for Clara, I never expected to see her killed so quickly or so violently. I did think the scene was very effective though, because it made me bond quickly with Juan and I really felt his devastation and confusion after Clara was murdered.
The film surprised me in many ways and even though I really liked the surprises and the story, it's so creepy that I probably won't watch it often.
After Clara is killed, we are introduced to Walter, Juan and Clara's next door neighbor, who has supposedly been renovating for months. We soon find out that he has not been renovating. The same force that murdered Clara had been torturing Walter long before Juan and Clara were even aware of it. It turns out Walter is scared out of his mind and cannot sleep because something is in his room, moving his bed when he falls asleep.
Walter tries to contact a famous paranormal researcher, Dr. Mora Albreck (Elvira Onetto), to come and help him because he is desperate to get help before something bad happens to him. The doctor's assistant tells Walter that the doctor wouldn't be able to help him and wouldn't even consider helping him unless he had some evidence for her. Walter agrees to get evidence and sets up a camera in his room. When Walter falls asleep, he soon wakes up and finds his camera on the floor, having been knocked over by the mysterious force.
Walter sees that his wardrobe is open and shuts it, then goes to review the camera footage. He sees that after he fell asleep, a figure crawled out from underneath his bed, got up, then turned and stared at him while he was lying on the bed. Just before Walter woke up, the figure turned and walked into the wardrobe. As Walter stares at the camera, horrified at what he sees, he slowly turns around and is attacked by the figure. We never see Walter again and we receive no information about who the figure was or what it did to Walter.
Around the time Walter is experiencing the strange phenomena, another neighbor of Walter, Juan and Clara named Alicia is having experiences of her own. Her son, who she refers to as Nino (Matias Rascovshi), has been hit by a car and killed after coming into contact with the mysterious force.
Some time after Nino's funeral, Alicia calls the police. From the perspective of Comisario Funes (Maximiliano Ghione), we see that Alicia is in shock after she finds muddy footprints and handprints outside of the home, leading into the house. We soon discover why Alicia is so distraught; Nino is sitting at the table, dead as shit, seemingly waiting for breakfast. It's so damn creepy and it's obvious he walked from his grave into the house, yet he doesn't seem like he's moving while at the table.
Comisario Funes contacts a paranormal researcher named Jano (Norberto Gonzalo), who also happens to be a former coroner and Alicia's ex-boyfriend. Under Jano's advisement, Funes decides to cover up the strange incident by claiming Alicia dug Nino up and put him in the kitchen, as they don't want rumors to spread among the police force.
Jano runs into Dr. Albreck outside of Walter's house. After he finds out that she is trying to find out what Walter knows, Jano explains the situation at Alicia's house. After reviewing the footage Walter sent her, Dr. Albreck is interested to find out how far the phenomena spreads and is eager to find out what happened to Juan and Clara. She and her team visit Juan in the psychiatric hospital to interview him and find out how long the phenomena occurred before Clara was murdered.
As they are interviewing Juan, the researchers are interested in learning more and ask Juan if they can investigate his house. He agrees, so they go to Juan's house and set up some equipment to record anything they can. Some of the researchers visit Walter's house and some visit Alicia's house and set up equipment at those locations.
It's after they set up the equipment that you see how inept and inexperienced these researchers are. It's clear they do not understand how dangerous this force is as it visits each house and mutilates and/or murders the researchers one by one. It seems to travel through dark spaces and the houses are somehow connected to the paths it has made. It is not explained whether or not the phenomena extends further than the three houses, but we are left to surmise that this has occurred in other locations and was never explained (No shit, it probably mutilated everyone beyond recognition, then dragged their corpses to its hell dimension. I mean, probably. That's my guess anyway).
It's also not explained why it takes some people and brutally murders some people, why Clara heard more than one voice, or anything else really. All I know is if I see some kind of wormhole form in the wall, or some extremely creepy figure crawls out from under the bed, I'm launching a RPG at the problem and booking it. Try to make a hell dimension wormhole now, buddy.
Anyway, the researchers all get mutilated and/or murdered or they disappear and Funes leaves the area of the hell dimension portal after realizing he'll get some of the same if he doesn't GTFO. As he pours gas in one of the houses and exits, he finds Jano, whose eyes are mutilated (picture the grossness of Sam Neill in Event Horizon at the end of that lovely film; it's very similar). I'm pretty sure Funes got away, but we don't see anything to confirm it.
We then see Juan at the psychiatric facility, being questioned by the police about Clara and the investigation done by the researchers. It seems that Funes has disappeared and they are trying to blame the mutilations and/or murders on Funes. Juan tells the police very little as he is distracted. Juan tells them that there is a tall, burned man behind them who resembles one of the researchers, Rosentok (George L. Lewis). The police turn and see nothing. All of the sudden, a chair moves and is thrown towards the camera, thus ending the film.
I'm not sure what to make of Juan seeing Rosentok. It seems like Juan is permanently connected to the phenomena and it's possible that the hell portal dimension will now shift somewhere else, since Funes burned the area of houses down. It's hard to say if Juan will be able to see anyone else, especially since some of them disappeared and the hell dimension portal may have shifted or relocated to another location. Who can tell with hell dimensions? It's not really my area of expertise, you know.
As I said at the beginning of the discussion, I really liked this film. I thought it was great at building up suspense and dread and I really connected to all of the characters. The creepiest parts were when Clara died, when Nino was at the kitchen table, the entirety of Walter's experience and the ending where the researchers were researching how to get mutilated and murdered (they succeeded!). So...basically the entire movie. There aren't a lot of films that stay with me and scare the crap out of me, making me afraid to go to the bathroom at night, but this was one of them.
I sometimes have to re-watch movies to make sure I have the correct sequence of events for film reviews and I was dreading watching this one again so soon. If you like movies where the ending is open and you feel a sense of dread throughout the film, this is a great one to watch.
Have you seen this film? What did you think of it? Do you want to watch this film? What is your favorite foreign horror film? Please share your thoughts below!