Cops seek ritual killer during pandemic; violence, language.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Infiesto (the title means "plague" in Spanish) follows two police detectives as they desperately search for a serial kidnapper and killer before more victims are attacked. The action is set in a rainy, dark, gloomy Spanish town at the onset of the pandemic when the country is sent into lockdown. People die of COVID, gunshots, suicide, and ritual killings. A suspect is badly beaten and shot in the leg to induce him to identify another killer. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "hell," "damn," "bastard," "get laid," "bitch," and "balls." References are made to possible sexual components of the crimes. Someone refers to a "hippie" cult where members smoked "weed." A suspect is caught growing marijuana illegally. In Spanish with English subtitles.
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What's the Story?
Castro (Iria del Rio) and Garcia (Isak Ferriz) are two workaday police detectives who catch a kidnap/murder case that becomes more urgent as they race to save future possible victims. INFIESTO is set in the early days of the pandemic when hospitals were swamped and Spain first went into lockdown. There are no vaccines or cures and everyone is flying blind, an apt metaphor for the detectives' investigation. A beaten, barefoot teen girl is found, having escaped her kidnapper-torturer, and soon a pattern of missing young people emerges, which leads the officers to a cult of psychopathic ritual killers who work on an equinox schedule. As spring approaches, time is of the essence. The investigators, who bend the rules, work when suspended, ignore quarantine, and torture a suspect, juggle the pressure to solve the case with worry about loved ones isolated with COVID.
Is It Any Good?
Infiesto is an involving, if somewhat familiar, creepy, unsettling serial killer story and, like others in the sub-genre, part police procedural and part horror movie. The sets, locations, clothes, and faces are all variations on the same gray-green palette, soaked in rain, with thunder shouting pessimism, doom, and unavoidable horror ahead. The choices are deliberate, creating a kind of color version of film noir, complete with the dread and fear of annihilation.
The procedural part is oddly messy -- the cops obliviously trample one crime scene after another with nary a forensic glove in sight, as if noir's retro post-war era is where we've been sent by the pandemic. That unreality is unleashed in the last ten minutes when a cop makes idiotic moves that no sane officer would ever make. No matter what the police do to rid the world of psychopathic murderers, we hear the refrain, "This is just the beginning." And that phrase seems to refer to a violent and inevitable end for all of us. At the same time we are dragged into the world of cults and ancient Celtic beliefs regarding the end of the world, the early stage of a pandemic rages. People are dying day and night. The movie suggests there might be a connection between the two.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what the filmmakers were trying to convey through dark colors, sets, locations, and lighting.
What role does the pandemic play in setting the mood?
The pandemic is at its beginning, before vaccines, treatments, and widespread masking. How does knowing more about the pandemic than the characters know color the audience's view of the movie?
- On DVD or streaming: February 3, 2023
- Cast: Isak Férriz, Iria del Río, Juan Fernandez
- Director: Patxi Amezcua
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Great hardboiled detective film is very violent.
Dense, tangled period cop drama for adults.
Powerful but violent thriller -- not for kids.
Grim, slick, shocking thriller. Older teens only.
For kids who love thrills and horror
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