Getting its UK premier at this year’s Sci-Fi-London Film Festival After the Lethargy is a Sci-Horror that offers up an extra-terrestrial twist on the usual haunted house in the forest format.
Staring Andrea Guasch as Sara, a journalist with an intense interest in aliens, the film begins with her receiving a copy of The Tetis File a documentary series made by a paranormal researcher about the UFO crash which took place in Tetis County and the government agency that built a barracks there cordoning off the area for 40 years.
Fascinated and wanting to learn more Sara heads out to the remote location meeting up with Joe (Joe Manjón) a young cop who has offered to act as her guide and show her around. Noticing the warning signs up everywhere Joe informs Sara that the woods are beset by bears that refuse to hibernate and have caused several casualties which the authorities seem unwilling to properly investigate.
Taking her to the creepy abandoned barracks that the military long ago left Sara sees some of the areas where the men posted there stayed some with their families as the area seemed to increase the fertility of the women that lived on it.
Most disturbing of all Sara is given a glimpse of the basement where the twisted Dr Marshall (Carlus Fàbrega) ran a series of sick experiments allegedly on extra-terrestrials attempting to learn more about the beings that crash landed in the area.
Frightened by the constant fact that the pair are being followed by something Sara never actually sees with her own eyes, she begins to wonder what is fact and what is fiction. However when she is attacked by a mysterious being and awakes with a penetrating pain and a strange mark on her stomach, all the answers start to appear before her, some of which are to question she wishes she had never asked.
Written, produced and directed by Marc Carreté After the Lethargy is a predominantly Spanish production that much like its central creature hides its origins very well appearing by all intents and purposes as a American made Sci-Horror movie.
Barcelona born Andrea Guasch is excellent as the inquisitive reporter who should have never searched for the truth and the rest of the main cast, many of whom are also Spanish, do a great job in their roles. It’s only in some of the lesser parts that the accents and performances are a little below par however the stunning location more than makes up.
Framing the story around the conspiracy theory documentary works well and we constantly cut back to clips of the presenter played with aplomb by Mark Schardan as he discusses humanities refusal to see the truth even when they are presented with all the evidence.
Referencing Galileo and his discovery that we revolve around the Sun and not the other way round, which led him to be ostracised and mocked for the rest of his life, the movie makes the point that people are often too scared to accept any truth that transforms the very nature of their own fragile existence, a deep and interesting concept for a gore ridden alien slasher movie.
Unfortunately after such a chilling and gripping build up where we see very little the second act descends into familiar and uninspired territory as Sara makes some shocking and disturbing discoveries about the barracks and their past and present use while running and screaming a lot. As the special effects increase it is easier to see their limitations and the same is true for the story which begins to unravel running out of steam at the end which is a real shame.
A decent enough Sci-Horror with some engaging ideas After the Lethargy deserves its spot in the many festivals it has played at and I am fascinated to see what Marc Carreté will do next given that he achieves so much here with what he has.