In 1931, just before the Spanish Civil War, a group of children are locked away in an institution. The children cannot feel pain and, with the help of a German doctor, they’re placed in experiments to help them understand suffering. In the present day, David (Ã€lex BrendemÃ¼hl), a brilliant neurosurgeon, is involved in a car accident which reveals that he is suffering from lymphoma. His only treatment is a bone marrow transplant from his parents, but when he asks them for help, he finds a mysterious connection between himself and the institutionalized children from 1931.
Directed by Juan Carlos Medina, who also co-wrote the film with Luiso Berdejo of [REC] fame, Painless is a fantastic horror thriller. Revealing any more of the plot would only take away from the brilliant way everything unravels. Each twist leads to more tension, and just when you think you’ve figured it all out, something else is there to turn things on their head. Frightening children, Nazis, and an emotionless killer are just some of the characters that populate the film. It can be brutal, and many scenes will cause viewers to gasp out loud, but the mystery at the heart of the film is sure to leave your head spinning.
While the film is certainly well done, there are still a few problems. Some plot points wind up being completely abandoned, and the ending leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s not quite enough to ruin what is such an incredible experience.
Is Painless Essential TIFF Viewing?
Absolutely. The gory and disturbing nature of the film may turn some viewers off, but for anyone with a taste for the dark and bloody, this is the film for you. Just knowing that Luiso Berdejo played a part in its creation will give you a good idea of what you’ll be in for, as the film shares a similar feeling as [REC].
Painless Screening Times
- Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm at Scotiabank 3
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