Home Movies Reviews ‘Disappear Completely’ Netflix Movie Review - Luis Javier Henaine’s Horror Thriller is Bewitching

‘Disappear Completely’ Netflix Movie Review - Luis Javier Henaine’s Horror Thriller is Bewitching

After visiting a crime scene, a heartless tabloid photographer succumbs to a mystery illness that begins stripping him of his five senses.

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 12 Apr 2024 19:29:09 +0100 1416 Views
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Santiago (Harold Torres), a tabloid crime photographer, is mostly seen around dead bodies. He has a dog named Zombie. His wife, Marcela (Tete Espinoza), works at a hospital, which means she also sees her share of corpses in the building. This couple eats food together, not in a fancy restaurant but in the hospital canteen. It's only natural, then, that every frame in Luis Javier Henaine's Disappear Completely (aka, Desaparecer Por Completo) appears stiff. Death is not just in the air but in every pore of this film's skin. This doesn't mean Disappear Completely is lacking in vitality. It has a rhythmic movement that's almost sensual, hypnotic, and bewitching. The movie sucks you in so deep you surrender yourself to its dark magic. Disappear Completely is more alive than those "prestigious festival films."

Since Santiago finds beauty in macabre settings, the movie presents its "dead" images with stark clarity (Glauco Bermudez is the cinematographer). The static camera makes everything rigid. It tightly confines the characters within a boundary as if telling us their paths are predetermined, their fates are sealed. This is bad news for Santiago because someone puts a curse on him. First, he loses the ability to smell things. Then, he is unable to taste anything. Later, his ears start failing, and if he cannot find a solution soon, he will lose his eyesight and...disappear completely.

The movie tethers us to Santiago's experience, so we see the world through his eyes. Hence, the dialogues are muffled when his hearing becomes weak. The scenes turn out of focus when he barely manages to stand on his feet. Henaine's cinematic tricks are incredibly entertaining. They are not cheap; they service the story. This is a horror film, complete with crazy rituals, jump scares, and ghostly sightings. But that doesn't mean Henaine doesn't have fun with this story. He gives us dreams within dreams, which reminded me of the opening scene of the fourth Scream movie. You can also find traces of humor in the exchange between Santiago and a shaman when the latter asks for money. This crime photographer earned cash by clicking photos of dead bodies. Now, it's others' turn to profit from his (possible) demise.

With Disappear Completely, Henaine criticizes real-world tabloid photographers who, like Santiago, invade people's privacy. He directs his contempt toward journalism that has nurtured sensationalism over decency. Henaine thinks the world will be better if people like Santiago disappear completely. The director, thankfully, doesn't dispense his message through lectures or ponderous moralizing. He sticks to his genre till the end. He presents his opinion through terrific filmmaking.

Final Score- [10/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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