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The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre) (1999)

  Directed by: Jaume Balagueró
Written by: Jaume Balagueró, Ramsey Campbell
Starring: Karra Elejalde, Emma Vilarasau
Links: The Nameless on the IMDb
Genre: Suspense/Horror/Thriller

This movie gets: 3.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"I think I'm deaf!" - a review by pearly

The Nameless, or as it is known in its native language, Los Sin Nombre, is a Spanish thriller. It tells the story of Claudia (Emma Vilarasau) who, as the film begins, discovers that her daughter Angela has been murdered, but the crime has been committed in such an horrific fashion that the body is barely recognisable.

Cut to five years later, and Claudia seems to be getting over the death of her daughter, until she receives a phone call from someone who claims to be Angela, asking her to come and get her. Enlisting the help of retired police detective Bruno (Karra Elejalde), Claudia sets out to try and find out the truth about her daughter's disappearance.

The Nameless is a cross between a thriller and a horror, as it tries to scare the pants off you, while at the same time having a storyline other than just madman-running-mad-trying-to-hack-people-up-with-machete. Therefore, there is the inclusion of religious cults, who have leaders with weird skin conditions and Nazi sympathies. The Nameless is a little scary, but truth be told, I'm not overly scared by people with weird skin conditions, and the old trick of having someone (skin condition or not) come right up to a prison room window and scaring the people on the other side of it might have been scary in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), but in this, it has lost any semblance of impact.

I found myself beginning to wonder about halfway through watching this: how will this film end? I felt that they were building it all up way too much, and couldn't see any possible way for the actual ending to live up to all the hype: and it didn't. It wasn't exactly what I expected would happen, which was a bonus, and if it hadn't been so built up, it might even have been clever, but it ended up being a disappointment. It was almost like I was just sitting there waiting for it all to end so that I could find out what would happen, but not being satisfied once I did find out, just thinking "oh, okay then".

And I must of course mention that the sound peoples working on this film are totally off their trees. Working in very close company with the editors, who insisted on placing vignettes of Angela in between many of the scenes, and then animating them by quickly moving the still shot from side-to-side in an attempt to disorient the viewer, the sound guys added to this effect by using screeching metal-on-metal noises over the top. Not only this, but they insisted on having these screeching sounds a good 5 to 10dB louder than the rest of the soundtrack, meaning that my ears nearly fell off my head every time this happened. These little morsels were quite similar to the ones in the movie I had watched directly prior to this one: Gacy (2003); in the case of The Nameless, the editing was a lot better, but the sound was a lot worse.

The Nameless is an okay film, but will be best enjoyed by fans of the genre.

pearly gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Jan 2004

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Reader comments

  1. This film is important for being the first feature adaptation of a novel by famed English horror writer Ramsey Campbell. I have read the novel and it is not his best work as far as plotting goes - I found the ending disappointing too. The film is a fair attempt to capture the mood of Campbell's icy prose line, but it was perhaps too faithful with its ending. The next Campbell film is already in the can, which is great news despite the stumble of THE NAMELESS.

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from Rod Williams on Thu 17 Jun 2004 21:57 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 6.00 (1 rating)

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