Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - SIFF 2018 Movie Review

The Movie: Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil

The Director: Paul Urkijo Alijo

The Cast: Kandido Uranga, Eneko Sagardoy, Uma Bracaglia, Ramon Aguirre, Gorka Aguinagalde

The Story: A Gothic folk tale from the 19th century Basque region that puts a young girl in the middle of a timeless battle between the living and the forces of hell.

The Review:
This movie is one of the reasons why I love film festivals. Sure, blockbuster multiplex movies are great and all, but only at a film festival will you see a horror movie from Spain that has a bad ass blacksmith go head to head versus demons from hell. Paul Urkjio Aljio's debut feature film feels like a mix between Middle Earth, Game of Thrones, Beauty and the Beast, and Guillermo del Toro's world of dark and fantastic fairy tale folk lore. The film was produced by Álex de la Iglesia who has directed previous genre and festival favorites The Bar and Witches and Bitches and he is very will known for mixing lots of dark comedy into his otherwise dark and this film is no exception.

The look of the film is appropriately dark and creepy and the story has that timeless quality that starts off small and builds out a pretty lush and extravagant world to explore. I really love how the film makers go all in with their ideas of what hell would actually be like and how the demons that populate the underworld have specific jobs to do pertaining to eternal damnation for lost souls as opposed to just being savage beasts of destruction. The primary demon we see in the film, played by Eneko Sagardoy, reminded me a bit of Loki from the Marvel movies as he was constantly lying and doing everything he could to gain an advantage.

The primary character in the story is a young girl name Usue, played by Uma Bracaglia, who reminds me a lot of Ofelia from Pan's Labyrinth as she finds a sense of self while entering a world filled with otherworldly creatures. The story centers around who she is and how all the characters' arcs lead back to one single event that changed the course of history for each of them. While her story unfolds, we also learn more and more about the blacksmith who the villagers consider to be a murderous monster but, as we usually see in fairy tales, the monster ends up having an opportunity to be the hero when it's all said and done.

The Verdict:
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil takes you down a dark, twisted, and wickedly funny road to hell. This is a fully realized world filled with characters and places that all have a rich history that you will want to see more of. In short, it's a super fun movie to watch so, if you like this type of stuff, you will definitely want to check it out.

Errementari is an official selection of the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival.

TwoOhSix coverage of SIFF 2018.

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