Películas para no dormir: Para entrar a vivir

Rating 3

Directed by Jaume Balagueró

Written by Jaume Balagueró and Alberto Marini

Starring Macarena Gómez, Adrià Collado, Nuria González, Ruth Díaz and Roberto Romero

A young couple expecting a child go to see an affordable apartment situated in a dilapidated building in an outlying district of the city where they live. Once there, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish and deadly scenario from which there seems to be no escape.

‘Películas para no dormir: Para entrar a vivir’ translates as ‘Films To Keep You Awake: To Let’. Made in 2006, this was one of six Spanish films based on a celebrated television series called ‘Historias para no dormir’ (‘Tales To Keep You Awake’), which was broadcast between 1966 and 1968 and briefly revived in 1982.

‘To Let’ is effective and excellently acted and bears some similarities to the Japanese horror film ‘Honogurai mizu no soko kara’ (‘Dark Water’). Although the stories told in these two films are actually quite different, the settings are similar.

The story here is, perhaps, a little overstretched and, as such, ends up being rather threadbare. The set-up and the opening scenes are excellent, but once Clara (Macarena Gómez) and Mario (Adrià Collado) become trapped in the old apartment building it does start to get rather drawn out, although a decent level of suspense is maintained. The film only has a running time of 68 minutes, but I cannot help but think it would have been possible to trim 10 or 15 minutes from this. Having said that, I think it is well worth a recommendation.

Director Jaume Balagueró, who has won no fewer than 27 awards at various European film festivals, also directed ‘
Darkness’, a horror film set in the Catalan region of Spain and starring Anna Paquin.

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