Review: What the Waters Left Behind – Los olvidados (2017)

What the Waters Left Behind – Los olvidados (2017)

Directed by: Luciano Onetti, Nicolás Onetti | 94 minutes | horror | Actors: Paula Brasca, Mirta Busnelli, Victorio D’Alessandro, Damián Dreizik, Chucho Fernandez, Tamara Garzón, Pablo Guisa Koestinger, Victoria Maurette, Agustín Pardella, Paula Sartor

Writing a promotional text for the back cover of a B-movie is a profession in itself. An Oscar film sells itself, but selling an obscure Argentine horror film is another story. The lyricist who is responsible for the promo talk on the cover of ‘What The Waters Left Behind’ does his best, but sentences such as “you have to see this” and “this fall’s horror film” show that he has not watched this production himself …

In “What The Waters Left Behind” a film crew moves to Epecuén. This is a tourist village in Argentina that was hit by a flood and has since been declared uninhabitable. The crew wants to make a documentary about this place and has persuaded an elderly resident to travel to the disaster site and tell about her experiences. What the team does not know is that there is indeed life on Epecuén.

According to press information, “What The Waters Left Behind” won first prize at the Fantasy Film Competition organized by INCAA in Argentina. In addition, the trailer of this movie is apparently listed on YouTube as one of the most watched movie trailers in the world. The directing brothers Nicolás and Luciano Onetti can be rightly proud of this. Unfortunately their movie is not very good and that hurts. This horror film does a few things very well. The setting, an apocalyptic no man’s land that has been destroyed by a flood, is beautifully portrayed. The film uses warm, bright colors and you don’t expect that from a brutal slasher.

In addition to the beautiful visual language, the special effects also stand out. The violence is portrayed brutally and without compromise. In terms of gore, it is also good with this film. The villains’ costumes are also terrifying. Especially an immense deer skull that serves as a mask is downright creepy. Unfortunately, a very bad editing, a broken script and a boring plot twist ensure that this film does not stick anywhere.

Nicolás and Luciano Onetti go wrong during the editing. This slasher has been edited downright confused and seems to be missing a few crucial scenes. For example, you suddenly see people running away from a villain who was nowhere to be seen a scene before. At one point, alienating stills are also used that suddenly color the screen red. These visual tricks appear just as suddenly as they end. That has an alienating effect and suggests that several people have worked on the editing of this film. The narrative tempo is off and the way characters are written out of the film is rather abrupt.

Despite the strong gore and the beautiful decor, this film can be called downright boring at times. The characters never transcend the predicate caricature. The plot twist at the end can be seen from miles away and quite easily copies an iconic horror film that introduced the chainsaw as a murder weapon. A shame, because there is a great horror film hidden between the poorly pasted scenes. Unfortunately, it will not come out.

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