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Featured Blu-ray Review: The Nameless

May 7th, 2013

The Nameless - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon

The Nameless is written and directed by Jaume Balagueró, who later wrote and directed [REC], which was a great movie. He also wrote and directed Darkness, which wasn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. Is this film closer to his later work, or is it in the same league as Darkness.

The Movie

The film begins with the discovery of the body of a young girl. The one police detective figures she's been there for weeks. She had been tortured and her face was mutilated. They believe the girl is Angela, a young girl who recently went missing. They call her parents, Marc (Brendan Price) and Claudia (Emma Vilarasau), but the body is so far gone it can't be identified through the usual means. However, Angela did have an asymmetry in one of the bones in her legs, plus there was a bracelet with her name on it found near the body. It seems like a closed case.

We flash forward five years and Claudia is understandably still struggling with the death of her child, which also killed her marriage. Her most recent boyfriend, Tony, turned out to be a creeper. She's turned to sleeping pills to deal with the depression. One day, near the anniversary of Angela's death, she receives a phone call from a girl who claims to be her daughter. At first, Claudia assumes this is a cruel hoax, but the girl pleads with her to come to the clinic where they used to go and to not tell the police. Claudia finds the clinic in one of the home movies of her and Angela. When she arrives there, she doesn't find anyone there, but the sound of a wind chime leads her to a room with countless pictures pinned to the ceiling and there's something under a bucket, which we don't get to see right away. She takes this evidence to Massera (Karra Elejalde) the lead investigator on the original case, who has recently retired. It's an orthopedic brace, which she thinks was left there for her to find. Massera is initially skeptical, but Claudia convinces him to look into it.

It isn't long before Massera finds a possible identity of the girl they found, which means Angela may still be alive. Massera calls Claudia and tells her to meet him in a university where they meet a cult expert, who tells them of The Nameless, a cult run by a man named Santini. The cult believed in true evil and if they could purify evil, it would allow them to obtain a higher state of being. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Quiroga (Tristán Ulloa), an investigative journalist who was called in to document a possible miracle at a church. One of the statues is crying tears of blood, but it isn't the Virgin Mary. There was also a video tape left at the church, and the video tape had a phone number written on it. ... It's Claudia's phone number. It isn't long before Claudia, Massera, and Quiroga are all working to solve the mystery together, but what they learn is too far into spoiler territory.

This is a rather weak horror film relying far too heavily on cheap jump scares, really cheap jump scares. There will be a quiet scene and then suddenly there's a audio and video distortion that makes you jump. This is unacceptable even once, but doing it repeatedly became annoying really fast. Had I not had to watch the movie to review it, I would have turned it off before we got into the meat of the plot. Then again, I wouldn't have missed much. The film has a good setup, but wastes most of it. The film has serious pacing issues. Going slow isn't a problem, if the film is atmospheric enough. However, here it is just dull with bursts of loud noises every once in a while. The film is 100 minutes long, but it could have been cut in half without losing any plot details. What plot we do have is filled with clichés and stupid moments. (If you learned of a cult that committed acts of evil to obtain a higher state, would you investigate their lair alone and unarmed?)

The Extras

There are no extras on the Blu-ray, while the technical presentation is poor. There are some scenes that look good, but there are serious problems throughout. This includes scenes that are soft and filled with grain, colors that are drab, and countless instances of print damage. The movie was originally made in 1999, so it isn't that old, but the video quality makes it look much older. As for the audio, there are two problems. Firstly, it is a 2.0 track. Secondly, the movie is dubbed, and poorly dubbed at that. Granted, it is sometimes really hard to make the voices match the lips, because sometimes it just takes less time to say the same phrase in English than it does in Spanish, or vice versa. However, there are times when the sound effects don't match up. The knocking on a door we hear doesn't match what we see. That's just careless. It is a bargain Blu-ray costs just $6, but I would still expect more than this.

The Verdict

Skip it. The Nameless is a bad movie and the Blu-ray is poorly made and without any extras. Even at just $6, it's not worth the price.

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