It wasn’t very long ago when my narrow definition of a horror film meant that I only ever wanted to bother with envelope pushing extreme cinema; films which promised nothing more than to prod, provoke, and absolutely ruin your day. If it didn’t fully play to my darkest sensibilities, then I likely wasn’t going to bother with it. I was edgy like that, man - and absolutely stupid. While I don’t regret the forge-by-fire method to my madness as a picky horror fan at the turn of the new millennium, I do regret the diet. There were so many fantastic films I missed out on in my desperate search for depravity, that I ultimately stunted my growth as both a film lover, and horror connoisseur.
Thankfully, with the creation of this website, much of that has been rectified. My cinematic palate’s been expanded—rather rapidly, and horror means so much more to me than it ever has; the genre so much more incorporating of various styles and themes than I had ever imagined. It’s not just about spicy food anymore, though that doesn’t mean I won’t try some every once in a while; just that, I’ll likely need time to recover from consuming it. As far as this overwrought analogy pertains to Trauma then, make no mistake, this is a ghost pepper of a horror film.
A shocking, brutal tale that blends the dark history of Chile's recent repressive dictatorial past with the seemingly modern and progressive Chile of today. The two worlds clash when a group of women venture to the idyllic countryside for a weekend of fun. But their outing soon turns nightmarish when a victim of government torture stumbles upon them, unleashing his pent-up rage. Face to face with the depravity of man, the women must fight for their very lives
“Shocking”, “Brutal” don’t even begin to cover it. Lucio A. Rojas delivers something so deeply troubling, a film which effortlessly burrows to the core of it's viewer in disturbing fashion, threatening to leave their psyche permanently scarred, that it almost becomes impossible to recommend.
There’s certainly no way I can say in good conscious that Trauma is quality entertainment. It isn’t. Because, how can a film so explicitly demonstrate - poker faced - subject matter like what’s found here (just think of every level of nasty crossed by cinema since its inception), and expect the audience to have a good time — to smile. They won’t, but I’d reckon it isn’t a stretch to say that this was never the aim of Trauma anyway. At least I hope not.
No, what I presume this actually is, is the lifting of a large old stone, in attempt to expose its underbelly, and the slimy, gruesome, vile things which could only thrive in the dark under its weight. Rojas, in a sense, delivers a technically competent, borderline exploitative, cinematic exposé on a dangerous, rusting, angry political machine—wrapped in a rape revenge narrative. I suppose then, given the level of dedication to the story, it’s crucial that intentions aren’t minced in any way (they aren’t).
Lucio A. Rojas, you win. I get the point—holy shit do I get the point. But I’m thinking after this, I may just have to give up spicy foods for a while.
So who is this for then? Well, I’d wager that seasoned horror fans with strong stomachs and the emotional and mental fortitude of a hardened military soldier looking for something to challenge their sensibilities, that also find most deliveries on similar subjects to be pulseless at best, will likely appreciate what’s on offer here (two of them give their brief thoughts just following the end of this review). Or maybe people that simply derive pleasure from self inflicted wounds, I don’t know. In either case, the gauntlet is officially thrown down this October 23rd on both Bluray and all major digital streaming platforms.
Trauma starts out very traumatic, and one particular scene at the beginning was very hard to sit through. Then the tension eases up a bit, but only a bit, because I could sense what was coming and I knew that it would be far from pleasant. Even though I was able to figure out who would be the mean, nasty character, I still think the filmmakers made the right decision to choose who they did. The cinematography and lighting was very good, and only added to the harsh tone that was there throughout the film. The gore was great—very creative—and I kind of had a feeling that I would like this film simply due to the fact that Lucio A. Rojas, is also the creator of Sendero, a film which I enjoyed a lot. The last thirty minutes of this one are insane, and very intense. You’re never allowed to feel safe either, another reason why I liked Trauma so much. If you want to see a mean-and-nasty film, this is definitely one to check out!
Headless has a new contender everyone! Top 3 most disturbing intros ever. I was like, “what the hell” and I looked it up and I saw that it was written and directed by Lucio A. Rojas who also did Sendero, another disturbing film, and it all suddenly became very clear.
The four leads didn’t have relationships that felt believable in my opinion, but acting wise I thought they did well. Most of all Catalina Martin who played Andrea, had amazing facial expressions. One familiar face was Mr. Daniel Antivilo who plays Juan. He was also in Hidden in the Woods and plays just as mean and disgusting in Trauma as he did in that and makes every scene he’s in uncomfortable to watch. On that note, be warned, there are some absolutely terrifying moments in this. The film contains rape, gore, abuse and everything bad thing in between. The home invasion scene at the halfway mark is probably the most disturbing one I’ve ever seen, and because everyone plays their part so well, it all felt very real; and this is something you definitely don’t want feeling real. Not only everyone on screen however, but everyone behind the camera too. The lighting, the angles, the camerawork, the editing are all amazing, not to mention the sweet SFX; I love it all. The music, for the most part, is pretty good, though sometimes it can seem a little out of place.
Getting picky for a moment, some of the few things that particularly bothered me were the color choices for puke, and the blatant CGI blood. It felt like every time someone puked it was really gooey and vibrant colored and the CG blood as everyone knows bothers me in any film to no end. Overall this is a well made fucked up film and if you love films such as Sendero and Hidden in the Woods like me, then get ready to get traumatized.
You know that go to movie no matter what mood you are in, you can throw on and let it drape over you like a warm cozy blanket? The ultimate comfort food film.. mmmm... imagine that feeling, except someone kicks your door in, rips your blanket off, then proceeds to repeatedly punch you in the face. That’s how the opening of Trauma welcomes your senses- and makes you question why even you even bother giving in to your curiosity. Enjoyment.. if you can even call it that... of these type of films is subjective. They are what they are. For what it’s worth, this one actually has a narrative, impressive soundtrack, and a solid cast which makes the overall experience feel more palatable than your average nasty. At this point of my life I want more layers to my shock cinema, I’m jaded and tired. The one takeaway for sure is ‘Trauma’ delivers 100% on its promise to unrelentingly force feed you fucked up shit.