Películas para no dormir: Adivina quién soy

Rating 3½

Directed by Enrique Urbizu

Written by Enrique Urbizu and Jorge Arenillas

Starring Goya Toledo, Nerea Inchausti, Eduard Farelo, Mark Ullod, José María Pou and Aitor Mazo

Estrella (Nerea Inchausti) is a young girl with a vivid imagination and an insatiable appetite for reading gothic novels and horror stories. Her mother Angela (Goya Toledo) is a nurse whose working hours means her daughter is often alone in their apartment. Estrella is bright, but she shies away from making friends, instead creating her own network of imaginary companions, monsters from the various books she reads and the horror films she secretly watches when her mother is working. Her imaginary friends protect her, but one of them, “Vampire” (Eduard Farelo), seems to be taking it one step further and encroaching into the real world.

‘Adivina quién soy’ (‘A Real Friend’) is part of ‘Películas para no dormir’ (‘Six Films To Keep You Awake’), a series of six horror films made for Spanish television in 2006. The film deals with the blur between reality and imagination in the mind of a child and the potential impact, both positive and negative, of the stimulus of fiction and non-fiction, both written and visual. It also questions the role and responsibility of parents, asking us to decide how much they should encourage flights of fancy and tolerate extremes of imagination, as well as how much duty of care they have towards children in their absence.

The film is a surreal mixture of drama, humour and horror. In one scene Leatherface, one of Estrella’s imaginary friends, is sat next to her in school, clearly bored by the class and restless. In another scene, Estrella spies her mother having sex with the apartment building’s security man up against a wall in the underground car park, refusing to talk to her afterwards, throwing a tantrum, but not saying what is wrong.

As the film progresses there seems to be stories within stories within stories, almost like a Russian doll, as Estrella’s fantasies become increasingly blurred and mixed in with real life.

This is the second film in the ‘Películas para no dormir’ series I have seen, following on from
‘Para entrar a vivir’, and like that film, I was very impressed. It’s an unusual and interesting premise, executed in an original way. I highly recommend it.

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