Friday, September 21, 2012

Cold Sweat (2010)

For every fantastic foreign film that gets released only a handful make it to the United States. It's unfortunate that these films can't be seen by worldwide audiences, but every now and then a film finds a distributor State side to release it. Sometimes it's a small theater run to a few independent theaters, but, more often than not, those films are released direct to disc without any marketing. Alas, these are the trials and tribulations of being a cult film fan.

Growing up during the infancy of the internet I found new (and foreign) horror films by word of mouth, or by flipping through the latest issue of Fangoria at the local comic shop. In 2012 film fans now have the convenience of the internet, and there are plenty of sites that offer all sorts of coverage on cult films all over the world. The website Twitch introduced me to this fabulous Argentinian film, 'Sudor Frio', or in English, 'Cold Sweat'. I'm not too familiar with the film work of Argentina, let alone what their genre films would be like. 'Cold Sweat' was a combination of so many styles it let itself to be more of a comedy than a horror movie.

The film starts out with a bunch of news footage from the '70s about a radical anti-communist group rioting, and torturing people to gather information. Stealing 25 cases of dynamite from the government the radicals were never heard from again.

Flash forward to present day to a woman by the name of Ali searching for the address of a boy she met on the internet. Accompanied with her friend Roman they together search for Roman's ex-girlfriend, who mysteriously vanished a few days earlier. While waiting outside in the vehicle Roman receives an email from his ex stating that she left the country. Apparently, Ali is some type of computer wiz, and triangulates the sender's IP address this the same location as the boy Ali was to meet. Ali tells Roman that she will go inside to search for his ex, but to wait in the car as back-up.

What Ali doesn't know is that her conversations with the boy online were that of the leaders of the radical group! Now in their 70s the scare tactics used to extract answers have resorted to dousing their captives in nitroglycerin, and sulfuric acid. Ali and Roman will have a challenging night ahead of them if they plan to escape these two geezers alive.

'Sudor Frio' is set apart from a lot of other recent horror releases are the antagonists, one of which is relinquished to using a walker. It immediately takes the film to a very comedic level as most of us would just try to push him over.  While 'Cold Sweat' does offer a wide array of bloody shots the film isn't all about the gore. It's not really a movie that is all that balanced either, which is what I feel is one of the downsides of the film.

The film has a few too many tones, and it's really hard to find that balance between over-the-top and mean-spirited. There are times when the comedy comes through too much, and we're not really in fear for the characters. Other times, the odds are raised increasingly high only to be dropped again. It sets an odd pace for 'Cold Sweat' which makes the plot come to a crawl at points.

Almost all other aspects of 'Cold Sweat' are pretty solid from the acting to the direction. The film is primarily set in one location, and director Adrián García Bogliano utilizes the tight spaces for solid tension throughout the film. The soundtrack was also a highlight as it transitioned nicely between the life on the street, and the terror in the apartment.

All in all 'Sudor Frio'  is decently crafted horror film, but needed to focus on one particular tone to better the overall presentation.  'Cold Sweat' is currently streaming on Netflix, and is also available on DVD from Dark Sky Films.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Trash Bags

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