Montse (Macarena Gómez, the bewitching star of Scary Movies 7 selection Sexykiller) has spent much of her prime tending to her younger sister Nia (Nadia de Santiago) after their mother dies and their father runs off. Agoraphobic and severely anxiety-ridden, she connects to the outside world only through the now-grown Nia, and when she takes in their hunky upstairs neighbor, Carlos, who’s been injured in a fall, her fragile state unravels further and her neuroses turn monstrous. She keeps Carlos drugged and bedridden—à la Misery—and as his wounds fester, he must figure out an escape, as Montse is driven ever closer to absolute madness. Produced by Álex de Iglesia, this unpredictable, impeccably directed period piece—set in 1950s Madrid—is a claustrophobic nightmare, unfolding largely in the sisters’ apartment and within the dark abyss of insanity. But despite the cruelty Montse inflicts, as reality encroaches on her carefully protected nest, she demands empathy, thanks in large part to Gómez’s powerhouse performance.
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