Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Director, Sergio Morcillo (You’re Gonna Die Tonight) https://adamthemoviegod.com/youre-going-to-die-tonight-review/. for allowing me early access to an online screener of the 14 minute Spanish Horror/Thriller short, “Gotas”. Gotas centers around 16-year-old Marta (Marina Romero), a talented but broken ballerina dealing with the loss of her parents and an increasingly mysterious bout of physical pain. While home alone one night, Marta will discover the truth behind the inexplicable agony. The film also stars Adrian Lopez, Patricia Arizmendi and Ismael De Las Heras.
Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” meets Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” seems to be the shoe that fits for those talking about Morcillo’s latest short, the script penned by Santiago Taboada. While I can certainly see the inspiration drawn from those two particular films, namely its ballet sub-plot and Daniel Borbujo’s stylish cinematography together with wonderful lighting stained with reds, the films psychological angle remains quite different. The cinematography is a class above Sergio’s previous slasher inspired short (which was still fun in its own right). Every shot is superbly framed, the long takes are gorgeous and the macro shots are used to great effect. Borbujo even takes the time to implement the most subtle of time lapses, as Marta enters a bathroom and then with a trick of light, awakens from her bed and it’s suddenly later that night. The audio levels are clear and the sound design helps create plenty of tension during the climax. Jesus Calderon is credited with composing the score for Gotas and it’s an impressive one at that. Calderon opens proceedings with a dramatic piano composition to help set the scene, and from there, eventually descends into madness with frenetic bass and strings. Heras’s demon makeup looks expert and the character itself is terrifying, constantly lurking in the background. Gotas goes through a very interesting metamorphosis over the course of its short 14 minute run time and I was extremely pleased with the direction it took.
The English subtitles are again a little inconsistent in some of the phrasing. Taking into account that this is Marina Romero’s first film, she turns in a pretty solid performance. That said, I think Sergio perhaps cast a little old for the part of a teenage girl and there are a couple of moments where Romero forces a reaction or doesn’t seem entirely sure how to approach it.
I’d heard some really good things about Gotas and although I enjoyed Sergio’s previous short “You’re Gonna Die Tonight”, this is the far superior of the two. It definitely has its Giallo roots, but the deconstruction of the protagonists psyche is where Santiago employs his own structure. The polished cinematography drives the high production value, the sound design is sharp and the score creates ample tension for its entire duration. The performances are of a solid standard and the quality fx work results in this monster being quite memorable. A few errors in the subtitles and a couple of minor inconsistencies are the only nit-picky things to fault here. Gotas is definitely an early candidate for the best short film of the year so keep an eye out for this one soon!
My rating for “Gotas” is 9/10