Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

söndag 17 juni 2018


Directed by: Marcos Codas
Written by: Marcos Codas, Harumi Martinez
Stars: Christian Cuadra, Alexis Amarilla, Leila Benítez, Camila Sigaud

Country: Paraguay
Style: Short
Runtime: 6 min

If there is something that I love it's horror films based on local legends. We all have heard about the big famous ones so when a film that's based on something I haven't heard about before comes up it immediately have my attention.

I'll try to summarize the original story as good as I possible can: Kurusu Serapio (2016) (meaning Serapio’s Cross) is a place in Paraguay where, according to some versions of the legend, a soldier by the name of Serapio Barrios was executed. Why is up for debate but one of the theories is that a general's wife or daughter smiled at Serapio who, of course, smiled back and that led to his death. Stricken with grief Serapio’s mother went to the general and told him “I curse you with the cross of my suffering”, by which she meant that she was carrying around her grief like Jesus carried his cross. With that she cursed the general and not long after that he was killed by an ambush. Anyway - where Serapio was executed there’s a big shrine today to which people come to ask him for help. From small favors to more dark and sinister things…

Writer/director Marcos Codas have made something really interesting here and maybe the most interesting part is that the short only is a part of a trilogy based on the local legend that they have expanded upon with a very interesting take with a story of a fictional coven of witches that practices “paje” (a sort of native guarani magic). Beside the movie we have a comic book that acts as a prequel about the character of Camilla, and how she came to power in the coven of witches in which she was born into. Then we have a video game that takes place after the movie ends, so the short acts as the centerpiece to this whole trilogy.

Right of the bat I’m insanely impressed with everything they’ve done here. We have the stand alone tale of the short that works on its own, but we’re also treated with more and expanded story in the shape of a comic book and a video game. So ambitious and well executed! So far the comic book that I got to see didn’t have any text yet and the video game was only in Spanish at this point, but I got to see the art of the comic and playtest the game and I can’t applaud the work here enough. I love things like this with all my heart. A great big scary universe based on a real Paraguayan legend - what’s not to love!?

The short itself is made in a pretty interesting way. It switches between being shot in a “found footage”-style and a classic cinematic style. This confused me a bit at first, but it works really well and the two different ways of shooting tells different parts of the story in a way I haven’t seen before. There is a lot going on storywise that it sometimes can feel like you’ve missed a thing or two, but I have a strong feeling we will get to know more about those things in the comic book and video game. A lot of subtext that absolutely will be developed in the expanded universe and trust me when I say that you want to!

The eerie feeling that runs through the whole thing is greatly complemented by believable acting and great direction. It even reaches the classic nail biting suspense in just about six and a half minutes - that’s a feat if anything! With an amazing soundtrack I can’t really find anything bad with it. It’s a solid short that I would love to see more of and thanks to the comic and game I even might to get to - as soon as it’s translated or I learn Spanish.

Kurusu Serapio have had a great festival run and I hope that you all will be able to see it and I can’t wait to see more of Codas work. He’s definitely a director and artist I recommend you to keep an eye out for in the future. I even think this short soon is available on the upcoming streaming service Cinistream.

My favorite part? The last few seconds. It sends chills down my spine just thinking about them. I’ll leave you with that…

My rating: 4 out of 5.


Produced by: Marcos Codas
Cinematography by: Jorge Samson:
Editing by: Marcos Codas
Special Effects by: ?
Music by: ?
Language: Spanish
Color:  Color

Distributor: BDS


Writer for Twisted Minds. Indie-filmmaker based in (but not exclusive to) Gothenburg, Sweden. Has been acting since the age of ten and has writing for even longer time. He likes all sorts of movies and are doing his best to find the good parts in the worst ones. Writer of articles and reviews in both English and Swedish. Lover of the indie film-scene where he believe true creativity and freedom happens today - To express the wonderful words of Troma; "Let's make some art!".