‘The Elderly’ Are Getting Heated In Chilling Horror Feature [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

Screen Shot 2022 07 18 at 11.07.47 AM 568x319 - 'The Elderly' Are Getting Heated In Chilling Horror Feature [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

The Elderly opens with an elderly woman jumping to her death. We then watch her twitch as her husband and neighbors look on, seemingly stunned. This film starts with a succession of “What the hell?” moments. Which makes the rest of the movie feel uneasy in the best ways. 

The Elderly 2022 MOVIE 1 - 'The Elderly' Are Getting Heated In Chilling Horror Feature [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

After his wife’s sudden death, Manuel (Zorion Eguileor) begins to get creepy quickly. This causes stress among his family, who has decided to take him in after the matriarch’s death. He’s saying weird things to his granddaughter, Naia (Paula Gallego), about the voices of the dead. He and his daughter-in-law, Lena (Irene Anula), are specifically not getting along in the tiny apartment during this heatwave. Manuel has put his son, Mario (Gustavo Salmerón), in a tight spot. Mario is torn between familial obligation/guilt towards his father and protecting his wife and kid. The family dynamics of the film are, oftentimes, more exciting than the creepy atmosphere surrounding the family threatening to cave in on them all. 

Also Read: ‘Smile’ Lacks the Fun Thrills Promised by its Chilling Premise [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

While Mario and Naia are solving different parts of this mystery following Manuel, other elders in the area are also starting to act strange. As the heat, and tension, rises the elderly become violent. The Elderly doesn’t shy away from violent outbursts, or elder rage. However, it does save the bulk of it for the second half of the film. That’s where it refuses to let us catch our breath as we watch them start to happen in a bloody domino effect.

The Elderly also doesn’t use the nudity of the older actors for shock value. It chooses to use it to showcase that these are the bodies of people who have lived long lives. These bodies are proof of stories and experiences that deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Even if these bodies have started to betray the characters who live in them. It’s a breath of fresh air in a genre where older bodies are usually seen as a lazy way to show the grotesque. 

Also Read: ‘Deep Fear’ is Tense and Surprising [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

The Elderly 2022 MOVIE 2 - 'The Elderly' Are Getting Heated In Chilling Horror Feature [Fantastic Fest 2022 Review]

The Elderly is parked at the intersection of Invasion of The Body Snatchers and The Taking Of Deborah Logan. While Manuel’s threats of violence and strange behavior are blamed on dementia, the audience gets to see that it’s something more sinister. We may not be sure how all of the pieces will add up, but we do know that this is going to be a problem as we’re watching 80-something-year-olds stay out of pocket for most of the movie.

The Elderly unfolds at a very comfortable pace. It feels like a slow burn but has so many “what the fuck moments” to break it up. Whenever I wondered if we were slowing down, something would happen and push the intensity up another twenty notches. Directors Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez helmed a gorgeously designed movie. I want to rewatch again just to spend more time noting the cinematography, sound design, and lighting. The design kept taking my breath away while I was trying to make all of the pieces of the puzzle fit. It’s a gorgeous movie, with just the right amount of creepiness, tension, and drama to fill the 95-minute run-time. 

Let me know if you’ve seen The Elderly and what you think at @misssharai.

  • The Elderly
4.5

Summary

The Elderly is a disturbingly deadly chaotic ride. Whenever you think it has outdone itself, it goes bigger in its quest to leave you unsettled and terrified.

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