A Floresta das Almas Perdidas — The Forest of Lost Souls for those of us who don’t speak Portuguese — is aptly named. Most who go there go to commit suicide among the trees or perhaps at the large glacial lake inside the forest. And yes, this particular wood is inspired by Japan’s infamous Aokigahara forest where so many go to die. Like its inspiration, it’s a beautiful woods despite the sadness of it, and you can almost understand why Ricardo (Jorge Mota) has chosen it as a place to die.
Harvey Fowler (Jonathan Stottmann) isn’t having an easy time of things. His wife left him and he’s struggling to look after their young daughter, Clementine (Kenna Hardin), who gets teased at school for not having a mother. She might also get teased for being named Clementine, but that isn’t clear. Harvey also tells dubious jokes at a comedy club because he can’t afford therapy. Then he meets Mandy Simpkins (Paula Marcenaro Solinger), author of the Marvelous Mandy children’s books, and everything changes.
The hunt for affordable housing is no fun, especially when you’re talking about a young couple with a baby trying to find a place to stay while Daddy works on becoming an actor. This is probably why Joanna (Tianna Nori) and Jeff (Mark Matechuk) are glad to find The Sublet even though the place hasn’t been redecorated since at least the early 70’s. There are antlers in random places and some of the scariest religious items you’ve ever seen. But there’s plenty of space, nice-sized closets, and the rent must not be bad, because they take it despite some initial misgivings.
Imagine waking up in the woods and not knowing where you are. You’re naked, hurt and bleeding, lying on a plastic sheet. None of these facts are reassuring, but things are about to get even worse. This is where María Forqué’s character finds herself in Into the Mud. We’ll call her Girl because that’s how she’s credited on IMDB.
Teenagers and twenty-somethings are much the same the world over, at least in horror movies. They stumble into urban legends just the same in South America as they do in the U.S. The Devil Lives Here is a Brazilian offering, based on the tale of the Honey Baron. It isn’t a real urban legend, or more precisely not a preexisting urban legend as far as I can tell, but one they made up for the film. Being a Honey Baron doesn’t seem all that awful (insert ‘sweet’ pun here), but this particular Honey Baron (Ivo Müller) is not at all a nice man.
Continue reading “The Devil Lives Here”