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on 16 March 2017
A beautifully shot film with great acting. The scenery is amazing. As a fan of the Canary Islands it was a treat to watch. Plot gets kind of slow but builds up again towards the end. Creepy thriller with horror elements. Very Hitchcock in style in my opinion. Well worth watching. Elena Anaya is a fabulous actress.
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on 17 February 2012
Every parents worst nightmare would be to go on holiday with their child, only to lose sight of them for a few vital moments and to find that their child has vanished. That is what happens to single mother Maria, travelling to the island of Hierro by ferry with her young son Diego, she goes to sleep and when she wakes up Diego has gone.
Despite a frantic on board search, followed by a more reasoned police search covering the island and the surrounding seas, Diego is not found dead or alive. Months later, and a body is found matching the description of Diego. Maria returns to Hierro to identify the body, but it is of another child. Maria then begins to carry out her own investigations on the secretive island, convinced that Diego is still alive and has been abducted...
Hierro has such a stately, and at times surreal atmosphere that it might well put viewers off who are in search of more instant gratification. I would advise to stick with it to the end, as 'Hierro' does deliver a payoff, albeit a very sombre and heartbreaking one.
I think part of the problem, is that 'Hierro' is being marketed as a horror-thriller. This is probably to entice fans of more bona fide Spanish horror such as Rec and The Nameless. It could be argued that 'Hierro' does contain elements of a ghost story, but it is more a meditation on grief and coping with a terrible loss. That doesn't make the film redundant, I'm just questioning the marketing ploy of the distributors.
I found it quite a beautiful film to look at, stunning cinematography, and there is an excellent performance from Elena Anaya as the haunted Maria. Why I could only award it four stars in the end, is that the end product doesn't quite deliver all that it promises earlier on. Please don't laugh, but this film reminded me slightly of British curio 'Neither The Sea Nor The Sand'.
I wouldn't recommend whipping this film out at a jam packed film fest, this is more one to enjoy alone or in the company of an understanding loved one. A decent psychological thriller anyway. 4 out of 5.
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on 7 August 2010
I was drawn to this from the writing on the cover, "From the producers of 'Pan's Labyrinth' and 'The Orphanage'", two of my all-time favourite films. It is usually the case that with expectations so high, disappointment often follows, as it did here. The story unfolds with horror stylings (portentious score, brooding, atmospheric visuals), which, perhaps deliberately, leads one down the wrong path - are the makers trying to make us feel as disorientated as the heroine? - however, this could better be described as a thriller of sorts, though I'd prefer to call it a 'mystery'. Without the 'Labyrinth' and 'Orphanage' link, I would have enjoyed this a lot more, but it pails considerably against these two modern masterpieces. So a disappointment of sorts; the very simple story was somewhat overwrought and overcomplicated, but a film that was always watchable, with a great score, and stunning visuals.
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on 26 November 2011
The story of a mother looking for her lost son on a remote and freaky island will always create some tension and suspense, and make you stick to the end. But the truth is that after the boy dissapears, very little happens in this movie. And the ending is somewhat irrational. The premise is similar to that in "The orphanage", but better done in the latter.
If you want to see great movies by the same producers, go for "Pans labyrinth" (5 stars) or "The orphanage" (4 stars).
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 September 2014
This is a gem of a movie that will not register on many a persons to view list.BUT if you loved Pans Labyrinth and The Orphanage then rest assured you will enjoy it. Its not quite up there with the two afore mentioned movies but, as those two the cinematography is gorgeous and it does really deliver those creepy subtle, atmospheric moments I love in horror films.No in your face splatter fests etc.Great acting, stunning to look at, and a nice 80 minute chiller of a film.Yes there are similarities to The Orphange, its by the same producers, but it wins hands down on the majority of the in your face horrors we are so used to seeing these days, which I personally find rather banal and boring.Give me a slower paced horror with genuine chills and slow build tension any day of the week.
Watch this then, if you haven't already, the two above mentioned, and then, Or, The Body and Julia, s Eyes.
English comparisons of style would be The Others, Sixth Sense, Night Of The Demon, Paranoiac and The Haunting, all of which are about story, tension, atmosphere and what is or isnt there.Not really a horror but more spooky thriller.
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on 3 July 2014
Watched it from Amazon Prime instant otherwise would not have come across this film. From the same producers as the famous Spanish films Pan's Labyrinth and The Orphanage, it is still an impressive film if you like those films however not that unmissable. You kind of get the same feel, style, pace, vibes as Orphanage.
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on 15 August 2014
Atmospheric understates the hypnotic surreal backdrop to a thriller that gripped me from the beginning to the credits and that is unusual these days.
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on 28 January 2013
Good film, but too similar to the Orphanage by the same producers. Acting and scenery top rated, but the feeling of seeing it before didn't leave.
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on 22 March 2011
Its a good film! horrendously depressing, but this is intentional and just shows the skill that went into all aspects of this film. Its better than the orphanage, don't believe the other review!!!
I like this film, its really good. maybe you will like it too!
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on 18 September 2010
Hauntingly atmospheric, beautifully shot and acted. The plot is cleverly constructed, the visuals stunning, the suspense relentless. The twist at the end manages to be at once surprising and heart-breaking.
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