Daydream For A Couple Of Hours
Blending sickly, saturated colours with a nightmarish plot, Animas is an impressively artistic film. Flirting the line between horror and thriller, Animas begins with a dream-like sequence before snatching us up and taking us on a winding road through the human psyche. The film is a bit of a slow burn though and does take a while to get going. When it builds up enough momentum however, Animas really comes into its own and although not quite as convincing as other films in this genre, ends with a neat little revelation that makes it worth persevering with.
At the heart of the film are two teenagers, Alex and Abraham (Bram). When Bram meets a new girl and his Dad is killed in a strange accident, Alex begins experiencing frightening visions. As she tries to decipher what’s real and what isn’t, the film takes a surprising turn, one that works really well to give the film some much-needed depth. It’s just a shame that it takes so long to reach this moment. For most of the film you’ll spend your time gawking at the beautiful visuals and crisp camera work but beyond that, there’s not much to the plot, at least for the opening hour or so.
Props to the filmmakers though as Animas is a true art film in every sense of the word. It’s definitely not a film for mass appeal and one that’s likely to appeal to a niche audience. With that in mind, for anyone interested in visuals and cinematography you really should check this one out. From the sudden hue changes mid-scene to the wonderful use of clashing and contrasting colours, Animas boasts a wonderfully diverse colour palette. Throughout the film’s 85 minute run time, greens and yellows clash and complement one another until reds burst into the picture. Late on, this is expanded further with the inclusion of both blue and purple, before ending the final scene of the film on a pure black and white shot. It’s the perfect example of how to use colour to tell a story and its use here really reminds me of Wes Anderson’s style.
Although Animas isn’t an outright horror and plays closer to the tone seen in a Black Mirror episode, this thriller has its fair share of tense and creepy moments. From a shadowy presence stalking Alex to the tight, constrained spaces that play host to all manner of creepy noises, there’s an awareness here that seeps into the mood of the film, resonating that perfect horror feel.
Animas does take a while to get going and if you’re not particularly interested in visuals or cinematography this isn’t going to be the sort of film you’ll take to. This Spanish thriller is dripping in aesthetic splendor though and the twist at the end goes a long way to tie everything up in a satisfying manner. While other films have told this sort of story around depression and repressed memories with more flair and bravado, Animas is a decent effort nonetheless and one well worth checking out.
Verdict - 6.5/10