The Similars (2015)
Mexico 1968 and a group of people become stranded at a bus station on a stormy night.
I took a break from film watching this year, I think this is something like the fifth one I've seen. This turned up on Den of Geek's list of single room thrillers and as I'm sucker for such things, I thought I'd give it a go. This is very well reviewed and while it doesn't really do anything we've not seen before, the combination of location, storm and something weird with the film print, creates an oddly creepy atmosphere.
A stormy night in Mexico, and a couple of people are at a bus station. The ticket seller is waiting on retirement, a panicked man is desperate to get to his wife in the city, and there's a strange women talking in a language none can understand - and throwing stones on the floor and chanting. Into this comes a heavily pregnant woman fleeing from her abusive husband, a woman and her sickly child, as well as a medical student on his way to a protest (which was actually a real life event that ended in a massacre). I won't go into details, but something occurs and makes the group turn on each other, with the culprit and the victims changing places as other strange things happen. It pulls the rug from under you a couple of times, but keeps the jump scares to a minimum.
It has atmosphere in buckets, helped by the strange quality of the print - which looks intentional. While the film doesn't start out colourful, as time goes on the colour vanishes, and the edges of the screen become darker. The picture all but becomes a low grade black and white VHS print, like something badly restored from the 1930s. The central device is an odd one and initially induces laughter, but as the film rolls on, it becomes more and more horrifying. It's quite similar to Pontypool, and cleverly uses radio broadcasts to explain that the chaos may not be limited to that bus station. It probably wouldn't be out of place as a Twilight Zone episode either. Really interesting sound track too - full orchestra style score that would fit an epic, big scale movie.
Worth a watch for certain, a great build up of atmosphere and solid wrap up too.