Directors Luciano and Nicolás Onetti’s 2017 film, What the Waters Left Behind (original title: Los olvidados), garnered them some recognition at the Obscura Film Festival (Germany), winning the Jury Award for Best Feature Film, as well as the Best Special Effects winner the following year at the Horrorant Film Festival ‘Fright Nights.’ Nicolás takes the helm solo to direct the sequel written by Camilo Zaffora (The Last Boy on Earth) titled What the Waters Left Behind: Scars. It, too, had a recent international film festival run as an official selection at SITGES (Spain), Blood Window Film Festival (Argentina), Cinefantasy International Fantastic Film Festival (Brazil), The Boulder International Film Festival (USA), the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (Belgium) and the Obscura Film Festival (Germany).
The sequel is a story of an indie rock band on tour, The Ravens, who end up in Epecuén, Argentina. The tour manager did not research and learn that this real-life former tourist village, Villa Epecuén, was submerged underwater after a dam, then a dike broke in the mid-1980s. In this story, a venue for nightlife is in the area of Epecuén, where they play. Although the city looks desolate, they believe a local about lodging despite several internal conflicts within the band and little funds. They try to be patient among the group, but it is not an ideal place when they drive toward the water’s edge.
The Ravens are made up of manager Javi (Augustin Olcese), guitarist/singer Jane (Clara Kovacic), Mark (Juan Pablo Bishel), Sophie (Maria Eugenia Rigon), and drummer Billy Bob (Matias Desiderio). Carla (Maguii Bravi), a local at the show, hits it off with Billy Bob, and drama ensues among the band. Epecuén, where Carla said her family resides, is in ruins with empty, broken buildings and no one in sight. Little by little, menacing locals are not welcoming these “tourists,” and each group member encounters terror.
I have yet to watch the 2017 original film, but What the Waters Left Behind: Scars was functional as a stand-alone film with each chilling scene. The Ravens are detained by the locals, whom the audience slowly learns is a father with grown adult offspring, each with their twisted personalities. Antonio (Germán Baudino) is soon recognized as a character from the opening scenes, as an Argentinian soldier set during the Falklands War in the early 1980s. When he comes to after a battle, he quickly takes the upper hand (and likely whatever else suited his fancy). One aspect of the film I found of interest was watching the band members feud with each other; then, as the band members are within the confines of the family, the drama surfaces, and bodies drop.
This English and Spanish language horror film is not for everyone. It is like other films created in the past in the USA. It keeps the audience engaged as much as they may want to turn away or turn it off.
Cast: Chucho Fernández (Chimango), Mario Alarcón (Tadeo), David Michigan (Tito), Paula Brasca (Erika), Raymond E. Lee (Sargent Watts).
What the Waters Left Behind: Scars is now available on VOD platforms, Blu-ray, and DVD.
Runtime: 1 hour 25 minutes
Source: Cleopatra Entertainment