13th Dec2018

‘Trauma’ DVD Review

by Faye Ellis

Stars: Catalina Martin, Macarena Carrere, Ximena del Solar, Dominga Bofill, Daniel Antivilo, Eduardo Paxeco, Felipe Ríos, Claudio Riveros, Florencia Heredia | Written and Directed by Lucio A. Rojas


I was lucky enough to watch a debut screening of Trauma at the inaugural Soho Horror Film festival, where the crowd were already hyped for this harrowing, messed up piece, and it did not disappoint. Fair comparisons can be made to the likes of A Serbian Film, Martyrs and Hate Crime, relentlessly uncomfortable and chilling in its execution.

When a party of four female friends head to a cabin in rural Chile, stumbling along the hostile locals along the way, they soon learn that their modern, independent ways are not welcome. After settling into their home for the weekend, they are set upon by a maniac Father and Son duo, and subjected to a life changing evening, forever scarring them. Escaping the clutches of the pair, the girls decide to confront their attackers, in the hopes of saving a young village girl, and stopping these monsters once and for all.

What first appears to be, on the surface, a comment on feminism and the male ego, you soon learn that you are witnessing the brutal and shocking aftermath of Pinochet’s regime. Touching heavily upon nature/nurture, we see just how much childhood ordeal can shape your future, and the evil deeds it can force you to perform.

Featuring one of the most horrific opening scenes I’ve ever watched, and I cannot stress just how horrific, Trauma aims for all the nasty spots it intends to – torture, humiliation, rape, incest and even necrophilia. It is getting some major attention and, given what it delivers, quite rightly so.

With this type of film, there is always the danger of the content being shocking for the sake of it and granted there are times when this happens. A pet peeve of mine, this enough for me to switch off and brand a film as nothing more than a horror makers wet dream. The thing about Trauma however, is that the genuinely disturbing material feels in keeping with the story. The female ensemble play their parts with such emotion that it’s hard not to be affected by what you are watching and believe me I was. Set against the backdrop of a dusty, dry Chile, the scenes are raw and gritty, making the perfect companion for the suffering about to come.

The only real issue the film suffers from is the believability of the final act. We see our villain develop power so great that he appears unstoppable, even after the several attempts in a row to dispose of him, and that’s just not the payoff you’re looking for after all you’ve just been put through.

Whilst not as shocking as A Serbian Film (but what actually is?) Trauma is a gut punching, breath stopping film that will, at times, have you watching from behind your hands, if you’re not already physically looking away (seriously, the opening scene is vile, and unbelievably uncomfortable to watch). Definitely not for the faint hearted, but you came here for horror, so you’re going to watch it. See you on the other side, I’ll be waiting with a blanket and a hot chocolate. You’ll need it.

Trauma is available on Blu-ray, DVD, Cable and Digital HD now from Artsploitation Films.


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