Seven friends go on a remote jungle vacation where a primeval spirit terrorizes them, but as they struggle to survive they come to realize that they brought the evil with them.
Face of the Devil or La Cara Del Diablo in its original title is a Peruvian film and is spoken in Spanish throughout. Directed by Frank Pérez-Garland, we are taken on a disturbing guided tour to the beautiful Peruvian jungle. The Rainforests of Peru are a place of great mystery and are entrenched in myths and legends. Inspired by real life events, actress and writer Vanessa Saba has made the mythology of the Tunche the backbone of this film.
The film begins when the father of the shy leading lady Lucero (Vania Accinelli) displays his reluctance for her to travel with her boyfriend and friends. Finally convincing him, she embarks on a holiday to Tarapoto “The City of Palms”, Peru.
Cut off from all technology the seven friends become immersed in nature as they go on a voyage of self-discovery and a painful lesson in the mythology of the Tunche.
The Tunche roams around the jungle searching for victims and can be in any form, man, woman or beast. You will know when it is near because it will whistle. Unfortunately for the group, the Tunche did not stop whistling.
The opening credits of the film was superb, I genuinely felt like I was onto something good as it was visually striking. The imagery of nature combined with sigils, blood splatter and music composition from the maestro Jose Manuel Barrios; truly gave an unsettling feeling. It almost felt that I was about to watch Eli Roth film.
From a Visual perspective, Face of the Devil did not disappoint and it is a wonderfully shot film. The cinematographer Roberto Maceda Kohatsu has captured the very essence of the film by perfectly balancing each scene. By this I mean he has calculated each scene, has worked out what he needs to achieve and has done this remarkably well.
Considering that it was filmed entirely in Spanish and backed up by English subtitles, I did not get lost in translation. This was thanks to the talented cast. It would appear that this film was a first for a few of the actors and the lack of experience was not evident whilst watching the film. All were credible and all were effortlessly natural.
As for the horror element, I did not find it especially frightening. In fact, if I was to be completely honest, I found it to be quite tame. However, I did find myself engaged and at the right times caught up in the moment. It wasn’t graphic nor was it gory. But the horror was drawn from the idea that if this is based on real life events, then maybe the Tunche really does exist??
Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11