Blu-ray Review: Trauma

We often create fictional monsters to terrorize people in a movie. But there are places where the horror was way too real that the monsters aren’t a mythical creation, but a historical fact. When General Pinochet took power in Chile after a military coup in the ’70s, economist Milton Friedman praised it as a great event. But of course Friedman wasn’t declared a political enemy and tortured by Pinochet’s goons like tens of thousands. Nor was Milton Friedman executed. Milton Friedman became an economic adviser to Pinochet and only cared about the money. Friedman remained clueless to the horrors that were happening to so many in the South American country. He could care less about the monsters that were created and sanctioned by Pinochet. Trauma takes us to modern Chile for a tale of how the horror of the past still lurks.

The movie opens in 1978 with a scene in a military torture room that just gets more and more intense and unsettling. An army commander makes a woman strapped down do the most horrific things with family members nearby. The son goes through an experience that truly lives up to film’s Trauma title. Before we can reflect on the disturbing nature, we’re flung into the future of 2011 Chile with a foursome of women getting ready for a vacation in the countryside. Things start off fine enough for the ladies until they stop off at the wrong bar hoping to get directions to their cottage. It’s there that things get creepy quickly as one of the locals gives them trouble. They get out of the place and get directions. They find the dreamy cottage and get to drinking, relaxing and dancing as if there was nothing to worry about that night. But there is plenty to fear in the night. The stranger at the bar drop by and see how they’re doing in the remote location. Turns out he was the boy from the start of the film and he brings his son to meet the ladies. Things turns nasty quick and this won’t end with a bad online review.

Trauma pulls no punches. Director Lucio A. Rojas and his crew made a film that isn’t for those with a weak stomach. They create a monster that was born from the horrors of the past that won’t allow itself to vanish no matter what the tourism board puts on the brochures. The film forces the women who survived the night to be the only people that can stop the monster. The Blu-ray is distributed by Artsploitation which really sums up this movie that truly merges the exploitation film with an art house film that examines the horrors of Chilean history. This isn’t merely a grindhouse torture flick. Trauma is a metaphor and not merely a Chilean version of Straw Dogs. The only thing missing from the film is Milton Friedman explaining away the carnage at the end.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the beauty and horror of Chile. The audio is Spanish 5.1 Surround Sound and 2.0 Stereo. The mix brings out the chaos during the more disturbing scenes. The subtitles are in English.

Trailer (2:03) delivers on the promise of a nasty weekend in the countryside.

Artsploitation presents Trauma. Directed by Lucio A. Rojas. Screenplay by: Lucio A. Rojas. Starring: Catalina Martin, Macarena Carrere, Ximena del Solar, Dominga Bofill & Felipe Eluti. Rated: Rated Unrated. Running Time: 107 minutes. Released: October 23, 2018.

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