Películas para no dormir: La culpa


Rating 3½

Directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

Written by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, based on a story by Luis Murillo

Starring Montse Mostaza, Nieve de Medina, Alejandra Lorenzo, Elena de Frutos and Mariana Cordero

Gloria is a single mother working at the same hospital as gynaecologist Ana Torres. To ease her financial worries, she accepts an offer to go with her young daughter Vicky (Alejandra Lorenzo) to live with Ana, also taking on the responsibility as receptionist and assistant at Ana’s evening practice in the house. Once there, Gloria discovers that Ana is conducting abortions and is persuaded to assist with these. Ana also seems to have feelings towards her, something Gloria tries to resist. When Gloria becomes pregnant, an angry Ana persuades her to have an abortion, following which strange things begin to occur in the old house.


‘Películas para no dormir’ (Films To Keep You Awake) was a series of six films made for Spanish television in 2006 and based on a Spanish television series called ‘Historias para no dormir’ (Tales To Keep You Awake), which was originally broadcast between 1966 and 1968. Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, who directed ‘La culpa’ (‘Blame’), wrote and directed the original television series, as well as introducing each episode in the style of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’.

‘La culpa’ might be a rather unsubtle commentary on abortion, although Ana’s motivation is always left open to interpretation, and it treads well worn ground. However, it tells its story very well and with a minimum of unnecessary trimmings, using the tried and tested old creepy house setting, including locked doors, a dusty attic full of children’s toys, and strange noises.

The whole series of films is recommended.

Review posted 30 March 2009


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