×

Mar del Plata: Argentina on the Rise — Demián Rugna

Rugna’s latest, ‘Terrified,’ bows in Mar del Plata’s Argentina Competition, then segues to Ventana Sur

MAR DEL PLATA — “Is there any way of stopping this?” police commissioner Funes asks paranormal expert Albreck as the body count and unearthly beings proliferate at three common-or-garden Argentine suburban chalets in Demián Rugna’s “Aterrados” (Terrified). “No,” answers Albreck, a venerable bluestocking, just before a twig-lick arm snaps out of a crack in a chalet wall aiming for her head.

Shot in widescreen, “Terrified,” which sales agent Aura Films will screen at Ventana Sur, marks a move towards the mainstream for Rugna, being made with the aim of scaring the hell out of audiences, he explained. “People just want to be scared these days,” he said. Yet “Terrified” still bears the hallmarks of the Rugna style: an art film refusal to show human-beings conquering the supernatural; a smorgasbord of fantastic sub-genres — from chiller to shockfest to cop investigation and gothic baroque — and a darkly-knowing humor that pushes the movie, in a very Argentine style, towards not only an unreliable narration but also a title that both inspires fear and is about fear as a phenomenon as well.

Penning Daniel de la Vega’s “Death Knows Your Name” in 2005, Rugna found early consecration with his directorial debut, the English-language “The Last Gateway,” voted one of the best 10 horror films of 2007 by U.S. website Buried.com. After a slew of awards for 2013’s “Malditos sean!” “Terrified” world premiered last month at Mexico’s Mórbido Fest, scooping the Mórbido-Cinépolis Distribución Prize, which guarantees a theatrical release in Mexico. It may well not be the film’s last plaudit.

CREDIT: Aura Films

More Film

  • Young Ahmed

    Cannes Film Review: 'Young Ahmed'

    There’s a darkness to “Young Ahmed” that audiences have never seen before in the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the gifted Belgian brothers whose profoundly humane, unapologetically realist dramas have twice earned them the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Like surrogate parents to troubled children, the sibling directors have taken on their share of difficult [...]

  • Radegund

    Cannes: Fox Searchlight Nabs Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    Fox Searchlight has picked up rights for U.S. and several international territories on Terrence Malick’s contemplative World War II drama “A Hidden Life,” following its enthusiastic reception at the Cannes Film Festival. “A Hidden Life” tells the true story of the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who rejected Adolf Hitler and objected to the war. He [...]

  • China's Zhou Dongyu Is Focusing on

    China's Zhou Dongyu Plans to Focus on Acting, Says Female Roles Improving

    China’s Zhou Dongyu may have taken a recent turn as a producer, but the 27-year-old actress plans to focus on honing her craft in front of the camera rather than branching out too much into other roles behind it. She also believes that female roles are increasing in quantity and quality in China, and is [...]

  • German Films Cocktail Cannes 2019 CannesMay

    Cannes: German Films Celebrates Festival Films at Villa Rothschild

    Pictured: Peter Herrmann, chairman of German Films, Michael Weber of The Match Factory, and Simone Baumann, managing director of German Films. Simone Baumann, the managing director of German Films, celebrated the many German co-productions screening in the Cannes Film Festival at the promotional agency’s cocktail party Saturday at Villa Rothschild in Cannes. “Germany is one [...]

  • Steven Gaydos, Jacob Weydemann, Katriel Schory,

    Variety Celebrates 10 Producers to Watch in Cannes

    CANNES–Variety honored its 10 Producers to Watch for 2019 at a brunch on Monday morning at Cannes’ Plage des Palmes. Launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, the annual event fetes 10 producers from the U.S. and the international film community who share a common commitment to bold, original, provocative storytelling. The films produced by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content