After watching and reviewing When Evil Lurks, I was recommended to watch Terrified by the same director, Demián Rugna. Terrified is another Shudder original and an Argentine film that received similar positive reviews and even dubbed as one of the scariest movies of all time by casual viewers. Again I have to disagree with that statement.
Terrified is another film featuring a small neighborhood that has repeated paranormal occurrences. The movie starts with a married couple and the wife says she can hear voices coming from the sink, naturally the husband brushes it off and they move on. However, he wakes up to banging and assumes it’s his neighbor who is renovating, but eventually realizes something sinister is afoot. He walks into a bloody scene that can’t be explained and this sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The neighbor who was supposedly doing renovations was actually experiencing his own paranormal phenomenon involving a humanoid creature living under his bed. He tries to document the experience for further proof but eventually goes missing. A paranormal investigation team decides to see the proof for themselves by living in three separate houses within the haunted neighborhood for a night.
The movie is still unique in my opinion, similar to When Evil Lurks, instead of one singular house experiencing the haunt, it spreads to each house and plagues each person. The humanoid creature is extremely creepy and is seen a few times throughout the movie. I think it would be far more effective to keep the monster hidden until close to the end. I always found monsters/creatures to be a lot scarier until you wait for the grand reveal.
One more issue I had with this movie was the acting. I felt like the actors didn’t respond to the mayhem around them correctly. When someone died they would vaguely look startled instead of scared. If I saw half the things they did I would be screaming and running for the door. The actors made it seem like it was a regular Tuesday night.
What the movie did well in my opinion, was the jump scares. I was caught off guard a few times because these weren’t the typical cheap jump scares that I’ve come to expect. The movie tries to focus on the use of unsettling imagery rather than a build up to unsatisfying scares.
The ending is left to the viewer to decipher what the entity was that haunted the small neighborhood. The audience is never given a direct answer to exactly what happened in the movie. There is a brief mention of other dimensions and what might lurk there. Or it could just be another simple ghost story. I believe the movie was trying to allude to the idea of something other worldly, something us mere human could never understand. The ending could be intentional, allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions. I myself was left confused and wondering what the point of it all was?
What do you think the ending meant or is supposed to be ambiguous?