An intense thriller in the riveting style of SEVEN from the director of DARKNESS! Five years after her daughter was brutally murdered, Claudia remains mired in despair and can't move on with her life. Then she receives a p... more »hone call from a young woman claiming to be that daughter, Angela, asking for help and stating that a nameless "they" only wanted Claudia to think she was dead! With skeptical authorities unwilling to help, it's up to Claudia herself to investigate the shadowy subculture of danger and secrecy that holds the answer to Angela's true fate! Lauded with numerous international movie awards including Best International Film at the Fant-Asia Film Festival, THE NAMELESS will put you on the edge of your seat as the mystery deepens all the way through its pulse-pounding conclusion!« less
"The film starts off with the gruesome, ritualistic-style murder of a young girl that's more graphic and disturbing than anything you'd see on CSI. This accurately sets the stage for the disturbing, underlying plot: that there's a secret society of pathological killers operating just under the radar and they're committing incredibly unspeakable acts of all kinds - without conscience, for the sake of evil itself. All the makings are there for a great psycho-drama, but too much happens in a vacuum for it to be believable. While the film does keep you on the edge of your seat, I found myself yelling at the screen asking the characters "how could you be so stupid?"; people going into potentially dangerous buildings alone, being forewarned about impending doom and yet still casting common sense aside and putting themselves in harm's way. If it wasn't for the the lack of intelligence of the characters portrayed in the film, this secret society couldn't stand on its own.
Putting that aside, the film's native language is Spanish and much of the character's personalities and torment, (however their own doing it may be) are lost in the English overdubbing."
A Spanish example of horror done absolutely right
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was only as the opening credits of this film rolled that I realized the story was based on a novel by Ramsey Campbell - one I had read a few years ago. The only thing I clearly remember about the novel is the horrible ending, which I described as a betrayal of the evil Campbell had spent so much time creating. This movie, on the other hand, does things absolutely right in my book, creating a bold, shocking ending that made me want to stand up and cheer - not for what actually happened, but because the filmmaker ended the film in such heroic fashion - American filmmakers always seem to cowardly sell out at the end of films. The Nameless is in fact a Spanish production (Los Sin Nombre), directed by Jaume Balaguero, the same man behind the film Darkness. The film is dubbed in English, but I have no complaints about the dubbing whatsoever.
I love European horror. There is a completely different mood and feel compared to American horror films, which at this point basically consist of the same few movies made over and over again. Watching unknown actors, I had no predilections as to where the story would take their characters. The story begins with the horrible mutilation and murder of a little girl, likely the work of some cult or other. Then, several years later, the child's mother Claudia (and I must say Emma Vilarasau gives a wonderfully distraught performance as the traumatized mother) receives a phone call from her daughter, begging her to come get her. She goes alone to the location, braves the absolute creepiness of the place, and finds enough evidence to make her think her daughter may actually still be alive. She begs for the help of the cop (now former cop) who worked the case, and the two of them begin a search for what turns out to be a mysterious cult known only as The Nameless. It apparently has links back to the old Thule Society of fascist Germany, with a really weird Crowley-like guru (now incarcerated) holding the key to what his nameless children are up to these days. Carlos Lasarte is deliciously evil in the role of the madman Santini; he almost steals the whole show with his one scene. With the help of a paranormal magazine writer, Claudia and her partner finally draw a bead on the location of the cult - but suddenly it's not so clear just who is the hunter and who is the hunted here. I would love to talk about the ending because it's just fantastic, but you really have to witness it for yourself.
Maybe this movie doesn't translate all that well to the general American public. I for one thought this film was fantastic, and it certainly won a slew of awards in Europe. Ramsey Campbell's horror is of a somewhat erudite form, but Jaume Balaguero managed to take Campbell's story and bring it to vivid, haunting life in the most effective of ways. Best of all, he cast away the novel's disappointing ending and fully embraced the horror that fueled the entire story. I love The Nameless, and I hope those who come across it will give it a chance - it's really a terrific horror movie."
The true meaning of horror!
Joseph P. Ulibas | Sacramento, CA, USA | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Los Sin Nombre is a twisted and dark horror film about a woman who's life is shattered when her young daughter disappears one night. A few days later, her body is found and this simply destroyes the family. Years later, the woman is on her own trying to rebuild her shattered personnal life. But one night after a rough day in the office, she recieves a call that sends a chill down her sign and brings back painful memories. Who or what was this phone call about? To find out you'll have to watch NAMELESS a.k.a. LOS SIN NOMBRE.
Based upon the novel by British horror novelist Rasmey Campbell, the director Jaume Balaguero (DARKNESS) delivers the good once again in this dark horror film that'll have you thinking about the true meaning of horror. Is it real or supernatural? You be the judge!!
Ride the roller coaster off the cliff
K. D. Kelly | sf, ca | 01/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I read enough reviews to figure I was in for at least a few fistfulls of adequately sleek visuals and perhaps more than the usual smattering of nail-biting tension but that I would -- as is the norm -- grimly watch as the plot deflated like a balloon animal twisted into shape by a pack of lobsters. So I put it way down on my shopping list and waited until I found a copy for $10. I can't help it; I'm a hopeless fan of horror and I'm always on a quest for that perfect flick. "Nameless" isn't perfect, but it's within hiking distance, closer than "Ringu" or "Ju-On" or "The Devil's Backbone," not to mention aggro thunkhead American drivel. And it's by far scarier and more intelligent than the director's more well-known effort, the delinquent and impotent "Darkness." Telling of the mastery behind this "Rosemary's Baby"-ish tale of a young girl stolen from her mother and either killed or enslaved by denizens of the occult are the number of tense, unsettling scenes woven into the framework for which the director is confident enough not to feel the need to slap viewers over the head with an immediate payoff. The cinematography and special effects leave nothing lacking. And the acting is top notch, unlike the self-aggrandising gesticulations in "Silence of the Lambs," which this matches in squeamishness. The film thankfully holds up like a prize fighter through to its knockout finale. I'm a sucker for mack truck endings that come out of nowhere, drop the payload and roll credits. Bye."
A Spanish thriller than ends on a note of horror
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just hit play when the menu came up for "Los sin nombre" ("The Nameless") so I watched the film in Spanish with English subtitles, unaware that I could have listened to it dubbed into English. That is just as well because even though "reading" a movie can get to me at times I still have a preference for hearing the actors in their original language. Anyhow, you should be aware going in that you have a choice when watching Jaume Balagueró's 1999 thriller, so do whatever makes you happy.
"Los sin nombre" begins with the discovery of the body of a young girl who was tortured before she was killed and whose body was mutilated after she died. It is only because of a bracelet that she was wearing that her parents are able to make an identification of their daughter, because the police flatly refuse to let them view the body. Instead, the parents can only wail about what has happened to their daughter, Angela, and let their imaginations run away with the horrors that were inflicted on her. We get to see more than the parents, having been given glimpses of the murder and seeing the police examining the corpse, so we agree. It is better the parents not see what has happened.
Then we are five years down the road. Claudia Gifford (Emma Vilarasau), Angela's mother, has seen her marriage destroyed by the tragedy. Bruno Massera (Karra Elejalde), the detective who worked on Angela's case and a series of related murders that have remained unsolved has retired from the police force, having suffered some personal tragedies in his own life. But then Claudia gets a phone call from a young girl claiming to be Angela. She is alive, she tells Claudia, but being held captive. She begs her mother to rescue her before it is too late. As far as the police are concerned Angela is dead, but Claudia finds someone willing to listen in Bruno, who does not like that someone has been killing young girls any more than he does the idea that someone is tormenting the mother of a murdered child.
As the mystery of the Nameless emerges from the shadows we hear about a cult, founded by a crazy person and apparently with ties to Hitler, and that finds tattoos and piercings to be badges of faith. The group practices ritualistic rape, mutilation and murder for their own secret purposes and it is the idea that their activities are moving in accordance with some grand design that elevates the danger. The Nameless are obsessed with perversion of a kind that speaks specifically to taking something pure and perverting it to the cause of evil. If Angela is really alive what have they been doing to her for five years? Claudia has her own unspeakable thoughts along those lines and in her desperation to find and save Angela never stops to think how it is that her daughter can be placing phone calls. In other words, there is more than meets the eye going on here and not in a good way.
"Los sin nombre" is decidedly a European horror/thriller, sticking to the idea that less is more when it comes to showing things. . A story like this works much better in a Catholic country, where a religion that sees evil as a real presence in the world is woven into the culture, although I admit I was surprised that it ended up being a reporter rather than a priest who shows up to provide necessary exposition. Quiroga (Tristan Ulloa) works for a magazine, and like Bruno his main job is to dig up clues to give to Bruno to put before Claudia so that she can figure out the puzzle in time to try and save her daughter. This is because when she finally gets to talk to someone who actually knows about the Nameless, he insists that only Claudia can put the pieces together. Besides, Quiroga is going to have another obligatory function to fulfill in the final scenes of the film.
Another key thing that I liked about this film was that Claudia and Bruno are adults. I was reminded of "The Exorcist," where you had grownups trying to save Regan's soul versus all of the splatter flicks where it is groups of teenagers whose primary purpose is to die horrible deaths. Maybe it is just that it has been so long since I have seen a movie in this genre where I could really identify with the protagonist (or would even want to for reasons other than youthful virility). But what made me round up in the end on this one was that, on balance, I liked the ending, although Balagueró does not play fair with his audience in setting up that ending (he is not helped by having the pivotal character show up with a voice dubbed in Spanish). Sometimes a horror film should end with horror, and "Los sin nombre" certainly does."