Mexican director Amat Escalante has cultivated for himself a controversial, often shockingly violent niche, and his newest film The Untamed looks to be no exception. Co-winner of the Silver Lion for best director at last year’s Venice Film Festival, the mysterious film has been described in many ways, including a riff on Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession, and deals equally with science-fiction horror and taboo sexuality, a co-existence united by Escalante’s disorienting, visceral style. Strand Releasing has picked up the film for a late-summer release, and has just put out a new trailer.
“The Untamed does that very rare thing in cinema in that it blends mystery, horror and pseudo-reality with a kind of dark subconscious arousal,” we said in our review. “In this way it recalls the auteur directors previously mentioned here, but also the eerie ethereal science fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. All this might lead you to believe that The Untamed is built on homage, and yet it refuses to be anything but its own thing.”
Check out the trailer below.
Young mother Alejandra is a working housewife, raising two boys with husband Angel in a small city. Her brother Fabian works as a nurse in a local hospital. Their provincial lives are upset with the arrival of mysterious Veronica. Sex and love can be fragile in certain regions where strong family values, hypocrisy, homophobia, and male chauvinism exist. Veronica convinces them that in the nearby woods, inside an isolated cabin, dwells something not of this world that could be the answer to all of their problems. Something whose force they cannot resist and with whom they must make peace or suffer its wrath.
The Untamed opens on July 21.