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WINTER VISITOR
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Reviewed by: Ryan Doom

Directed by: Sergio Esquenazi

Starring:
Sanitiago Pedrero
Sandra Ballesteros
Pepe Novoa

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A suicidal young man moves with his family to escape the troubles of the big city, only to find a killer problem in a small town.
Is it good movie?
I donít think Iíve ever seen an Argentinian horror film. I mean I know they have beautiful women, great weather (especially compared to Kansas), and hot, hot women, but horror? I know film exists there, but I wasnít expecting Winter Visitor. Now this doesnít mean itís a landmark movie or anything, it just reminds me how shitty the American horror scene has become with producers going for young faces, cheap effects, and 0.3 % script. Winter Visitor, using standard American conventions, manages to create something unique, if not borderline fantastic at times. Itís like MacGyver using existing parts like a paper clip and a potato to make C4. Itís pretty cool. Winter Visitor uses the plot of Rear Window, the horror of Friday the 13th, the backwoodsness of Texas Chainsaw, and the psychological elements of Silence of the Lambs. These arenít clear-cut homages, but itís rather obvious were inspiration arrived from. Hell, even the bad guy looks like Darth Vader when he takes his helmet off. Itís like if Anakin survived, moved to a planet and started killing kids. I wonder if he went after Jake Lloyd?

The most telling plot point comes from Rear Window, where our lead Ariel is stuck at home, fresh off a suicide attempt, and has nothing better to do than play peeping tom with a telescope. One day he notices a creepy dude driving that dark car from Jeepers Creepers and taking a kid inside. Itís not long before Ariel suspects the guy is killing kids without anyone noticing. Of course, when he tries to tell others, they all think heís nuts and not taking his meds, which coincidentally he stopped taking just as he saw the man. Is he seeing things? Has he finally gone over? Winter Visitor takes itís time revealing the answer, but it allows for a deep character in Ariel, whoís a great fragile lead I felt for, right down to his asthma attacks.

Winter Visitor does have faults. It relies heavily on Ariel seeing things, which come off like cheap scare tactics. It also boasts awful, awful CGI. Please, people, I beg of you to use special effects for gore. I donít understand why the hell anyone thinks this looks real. When a blade slices the mouth of someone, itís rather obvious itís as fake as John Travoltaís hair. Watch any splatter fest from the 70s or 80s and see gore done right. Anyone going to tell me Dawn of the Dead doesnít work or disgust? Please.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen

Audio: Not listed but it sounded great. Just be prepared to read. (English Subtitles)
The Extras
Notta.
Last Call
All and all, Winter Visitor is an effective, intelligent, and superbly written movie that deserves viewership worldwide. Itís a good kick in the ass for horror, showing you donít have to drop the intelligence in order to create something scary. Just lay off the CGI.

NOTE: Contact DC MEDIA for distribution queries.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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