‘Los Parecidos’ (‘The Similars’) is Weird and Utterly Charming (Review)
Written by: Lois Kennedy
Director: Isaac Ezban
Cast: Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Humberto Busto, Carmen Beato
Mexican movie. It’s 1968, Mexico. Heavy rain showers have forced eight people to be trapped at a bus station. Slowly, all of them (even the women) start to look alike, sporting a bushy beard and similar haircut. Soon even photographs have the same look. The main characters turn on each other in an attempt to figure out what’s going on.
The film is meant to strike you as retro and evocative of the ’50s and ’60s (and it succeeds quite cleverly). The colors are soft and muted, and eventually slip into full-on black and white. There are regular blotches on the film. The score booms with melodramatic violins. A narrator, reminiscent of Rod Serling, explains the situation. The whole movie is heavily influenced by The Twilight Zone, particularly the episode “It’s a Good Life” and any episode that involves people coming together and destroying each other with paranoia. The movie also draws from old sci-fi movies about people losing their identities, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
I found a lot to like here (and actually, no complaints). The performances are good, a standout being Santiago Torres as Ignacio, the evil boy genius. The set is wonderful; it’s old-fashioned looking but creepy. The premise sounds ludicrous, but the execution is fascinating. The comic relief only emphasizes how strange the movie is. My favorite is when the characters refer to the turned people as Ulises (after the guy they resemble), causing him to ask, “Why are you talking about me in plural?”
It’s not scary per se, but it’s definitely weird and unsettling—in a good way. It’s low on the gore scale, except a scene when a character hacks open her face with scissors.
Check it out if you’re in the mood for something original and entertaining.
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