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February 14, 2012

Movie Review: Undocumented (2011)

IFC Midnight has shown some wonderful consistency in releasing quality, provocative and even topical horror films over the past few years. For instance, we've sang praises for their release of Simon Rumley's Red, White and Blue numerous times on the site. A little bit of originality goes a long way, even for us genre junkies. Chris Peckover's Undocumented is on that same level, and boy does it pack punch that makes it easily the most fearless little film I've had the pleasure of seeing in a while.

Buy Undocumented on DVD

The creators of Undocumented succeed in doing something not so easy - firmly pressing the hot button topic of illegal immigrants and the trafficking of Mexican people to America without being overly exploitive. A group of American filmmakers (led by Eurotrip's Jeff Mechlowicz) are putting together a documentary on illegal immigrants and their tactics in getting over the border. One night they accompany several of these folks and in the process become captured by a violent right-wing group pent on torturing and killing any and every Mexican immigrant that dares to cross the border. The filmmakers are allowed to live on one condition: they must do a video diary of these bastards while they do their thing.

Peter Stormare is almost unrecognizable as Z, the leader of the group. Stormare wears a mask the whole film and is so convincing in his English accent, that only until the final credits rolled I knew he was involved in the project. The performances are generally solid as is the direction. It's dark in many spots but the scenes are shot so well that you're not getting a headache from the occasionally intentional wobbly camera.

The reality of Undocumented brought back some memories events in my home state Arizona where many extremists - who LOVE posing with their rifles - through around the idea of sniping, people who enter the border without citizenship. America's toughest sheriff himself, Joe Arpaio, even put together his own posse of 300 pound horseback riding rent-a-cops who became in charge of rounding up aliens.

Undocumented is a dark, disturbing and a simply numbing experience that becomes much more elevated in it's impact because of the current political climate and the rampant racism against people with brown skin in the United States. Peckover's debut feature is without a doubt one of the best films of 2012 and comes highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome movie. Great suspense build up with lots of good gore throughout the flick. Kept me on my toes and clenched the whole time. Intense.

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