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When the aliens come, what language will they speak? Arrival weaves a smart sci-fi tale around such a subject, echoing tones from the best episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. These are not the aliens that want to eat our flesh or blow up our planet. This is not the scenario where courageous human soldiers fire guns wildly at laser-firing spaceships. It’s more unique and engrossing to learn what an alien language might be rather than what color of laser their doomsday machine can fire. ... Read full review »
The plot is described thus: Three teenagers go to visit a friend at his old farmhouse for the weekend. What they didn’t expect was to be stuck in the middle of a centenary war between good and evil… I mention the official ‘blurb’ because whilst this is a loud, relentless, frightening tour-de-force, the storyline becomes baffling on more than one occasion. There are so many twists and turns and revelations (especially towards the end) that the viewer ends up very satisfied but perplexed. Apolo (Pedro Carvalho) ... see more invites his three friends for a visit at his farm. The building has a history – in the past, it was a slave plantation that also cultivated colonies of bees and sold honey (leading to some comparisons between the hierarchy of bees and the puritanical abuse of lower classes – slaves, in other words). In the basement, Apolo has set up a ceremony to free the spirit of a baby’s tortured soul. The child is the result of a slave owner, known enigmatically as The Honey Baron, impregnating the mother of one of his subjects, who later killed the child. Two descendants of long-dead slave Bento (Sidney Santiago), Sebastião and his younger brother Luciano, raise Bento from the dead and together they travel to the farm to halt proceedings, knowing if the child is resurrected, then so is The Honey Baron. The sensitive Ale (Mariana Cortines), who is no stranger to hearing voices in her head anyway (and takes medication for this unspecified condition), is subject to some horrifying moments as the spirit appears to seek possession of her. Her friend Maria (Clara Verdier) probably suffers the most, and her relationship with the truly horrifying Honey Baron might well promise nightmares yet to come … There aren’t many Brazilian horror films. I’m not sure why this is. Would ‘The Fostering’ have benefitted from some extra clarity? Possibly not. The chaos of the imagery (Directors Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio are unafraid to use limited colour close-ups as a disorientating effect) and constant subverting of expectations helps induce a memorable series of events that demand scrutiny long after the film has ended.
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