Sangre Eterna

[a.k.a. Eternal Blood]
Dir: Jorge Olguin
Star: Blanca Lewin, Juan Pablo Ogalde, Patricia López, Carlos Borquez

I guess the theme here is the dangers of obsessive role-playing...or is it vampirism? Not quite sure. Carmilla (Lewin) joins a close-knit community of Goths, who play a game like Vampire: The Masquerade. Only, the group are also getting involved with some really hardcore Goths, and one of them, 'M' (Ogalde) begins to think their new friend might have more secrets than the usual book of bad poetry. Can he save Carmilla and his friends from a fate worse than death? Or do they really need saving? The main problem here is, viewers will be some way ahead of the story, which takes far too long to develop: it's more than an hour, before the dramatic reveal, and it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out what it's going to be. Not that there aren't pleasures to be had before then; the game-related universe is kinda fun, featuring nuns-with-guns and excessive violence. It's just that the "real" world is much less interesting; I can see why they play RPGs.

On a technical note, keeping up with proceedings isn't helped by horrendous subtitling, which is so out of synch with the dialogue as to present serious problems [unless, like Chris, you speak Spanish]. It improves markedly in the second half, but early on, it's often hard to tell who's saying what, and is among the worst I've seen on a professional release. Though getting credit for being the first horror film from Chile we've seen, and also for the ending, the characters seemed forever teetering on the edge of Saturday Night Live's "Goth Talk" parody: do we really care about imminently-due homework? We struggled to maintain appreciation for the entire 108-minute running time, which is at least twenty too long. Though a decent concept is obviously present, the gap between it and the script which was filmed is also all-too clear.

[December 2006]

No, it just *seems* eternal...
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