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THE FUNERAL HOME Review–A Demonic Treat

If you like films with mortuary objects, dysfunctional families, symbols of the occult, pale bodies that emerge from the dark, and an insane addition that causes mayhem at its conclusion, then venture into The Funeral Home.

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Starring Luis Machín, Celeste Gerez, and Camila Vaccarini

Written by Mauro Iván Ojeda

Directed by Mauro Iván Ojeda



Death has always been an integral part of life. With the passing of Grandparents, uncles, relatives, and other family members, a funeral home becomes a communal experience where families reconnect, reminisce and grieve. When a person dies, a philosophical discussion arises:  Does a person, when they expire, have a spirit?  If so, when does it leave the body and where does it go?

La Funeraria (The Funeral Home) is an Argentinean offering by Del Toro Films and distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment, gives us an excursion to where some spirits go as they take residence in a mortician’s domicile/funeral home.

Bernardo (Luis Machin) lives on a multi-purpose estate with his wife Estela (Celeste Gerez) and his stepdaughter Irina (Camilla Vaccarini). His live/work situation consists of living in the main house while another building on the grounds consists of being the local funeral home.  In addition to his unloving pairing with Estela and his tenuous at best relationship with Irina who is obsessed with her Grandmother and dead Father, they have larger issues to face as ghosts and other pale entities roam about the grounds.  

Unnerved by the various funerary accouterments and terrorized by the various specters, they invite the local medium Ramona (Susana Varela) who, through her visions, reveals the family’s unsettling past of Bernardo’s Father, his dabbling in the dark arts, and the summoning of something far sinister that the ghastly figures that invade the estate.

Written and directed by Mauro Iván Ojeda, this film provides a sense of irony where, even though the three family members are together in one house, their barriers of grief divide them. Bernardo who, despite being married to Estela, is unable to form relationships.  Combined with the guilt of losing his Father, is desperate to create a correspondence with the ghostly apparitions.  Estela, unable to shake her former husband’s abuse, daughter’s estrangement, and unloving marriage, turns to nocturnal self-medication.  Irina, with her obsession of her dead Father, angst towards her stepfather, and the trauma brought on by the roaming spirits, tries to leave the maddening manor. 

Ojeda does a marvelous job with the chilly atmosphere that pervades through this film which permeates throughout the characters.  Combined with the blackened nightly atmosphere, meandering phantoms, and wonderful window writing scenes, Mr. Ojeda crafts a movie that’s delightfully dreadful. 

The performances are top-notch with Luis Machin, playing the Paterfamilias Bernardo, performs the schism of cold and emotional to perfection.  Celeste Gerez is wonderful as the damaged and trapped Estela.  Camilla Vaccarini is terrific as the provocative pain-in-the-ass Irina.  Susana Varela is hypnotic as the medium Ramona.  Her performance and presence is so compelling I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

If you like films with mortuary objects, dysfunctional families, symbols of the occult, pale bodies that emerge from the dark, and an insane addition that causes mayhem at its conclusion, then venture into The Funeral Home.

  • THE FUNERAL HOME
5.0

Summary

If you like films with mortuary objects, dysfunctional families, symbols of the occult, pale bodies that emerge from the dark, and an insane addition that causes mayhem at its conclusion, then venture into The Funeral Home.

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User Rating 5 (2 votes)