Venice Film Festival: The Untamed

The Untamed

Amat Escalante won the best director award at Cannes 2013 with the dark, brutal thriller Heli. This year he came back with something much more sexual, otherworldly and, well, just plain bizarre.

The Untamed is a story of a young mother Alejandra, who is a working housewife, living with her loose cannon husband Angel. Her brother Fabian works as a nurse in a hospital. The lives of all three turn upside down when the young, mysterious Veronica enters their world and introduces them to something extraordinary.

It is not drugs. Or religion. Or money. It is the physical embodiment of the Id, responding to the most basic of human instincts with a single mission: delivering pleasure. Brought to Earth via asteroid, it lives in an isolated cabin in the woods, maintained by a middle-aged couple. If it sounds bonkers, well – it is.

As long as you’re into strange, sci-fi/fantasy cinema, The Untamed offers numerous interpretations that are likely to leave you satisfied. On one hand, it is a gritty, weird, fascinating piece of cinema with the potential of becoming an obscure cult classic. On the other, depending on how deep you like to read into your cinema, it is a sensitive reflection and commentary on feminism, sex and gender.

The action of the film moves quite quickly, but it is the promise of seeing ‘the creature’ that keeps us in constant state of suspense. Very cleverly, we are given a brief sighting of it in the very first scene of the film, which leaves us begging for more throughout the rest of it. Escalante knows that perfectly well and keeps us waiting until the very last moment. But when we finally do see the creature in its full glory, it is bound to be one of the most memorable scenes you will ever witness.

It is hard to not give too much away, but try to put together Dario Argento and a bit of tentacle erotica. Like what you see? The Untamed will be a pleasant surprise!