Award winning cult film from Spain will have you holding you
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 03/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many movies have told the story of the mysterious unknown hunter tracking human prey. Even though you've seen the premise before, you'll find yourself holding your breath as you watch this film.
Quim (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is making a road trip to see his ex-girlfriend and maybe patch things up between them. He stops for gas and has an encounter with Bea (María Valverde). He realizes too late that Bea has stolen his wallet. So, when he sees her car ahead in the distance he decides to follow her.
This is a particularly deserted stretch of road that winds through the forests and mountains of rural Spain. Both Quim and Bea are stranded when their cars are disabled by gunshots. Together they flee into the forest to escape their relentless pursuers.
There are some surprising twists and turns in the plot. To say more would give away too much.
"El Rey de la montaña" is very well made. The cinematography is stunning. Sbaraglia and Valverde took home the Festival Trophy for Best Actor and Actress at the 2008 Screamfest in LA for their performances. Director Gonzalo López-Gallego won the Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver at the 2008 Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival.
The DVD has audio in either Spanish or English; subtitles are available in Spanish and English. There is also captioning in English for the hearing impaired. Do yourself a favor and skip the dubbed version. The original Spanish version is far, far superior. You'll catch a lot more emotion with the original language track, even if you're using subtitles.
Parents should be aware that, although the DVD is unrated, the theatrical release had a well deserved "R" rating for sex and violence. The movie is disturbing. There are no noble or heroic characters here.