Review: Limbo (2018)

© Dani Viqueira

Genre movie scene in Spain is well developed and very diverse, in the terms of sub-genres and styles, but also regionally, linguistically and culturally. Dani Viqueira’s Limbo proudly represents the region of Galicia and the genre label of horror, physical and psychological. The film had a healthy festival tour from 2018 on, winning a number of awards (including Melies d’Argent) in process.

It all starts in a relatively isolated country house, where the father (Xosé M. Eirín) commits the terrible crime – the annihilation of his family. Evidently, he is a troubled man who has his demons, metaphorical, but also literal, as we can see, that he cannot escape from. Stuck in a limbo, the memories come back to haunt him and he is not sure (and neither is the viewer) what is real and what is a nightmare.

Limbo is a fine example of how much can be done with pure enthusiasm, some vision and a lot of craftsmanship. The film is self-produced by its writer-director Dani Viqueira, who also served as an editor. Its atmosphere is uniquely disorienting, which is definitely intentional on Viqueira’s side, due to succession of sharply cut short takes, with a couple of significant long shots and even a point of view subjective nightmare sequence near the film’s culmination. Viqueira clearly knows when it is more effective to employ a jump scare, and when the action should take place in the corner of the screen or completely off-screen.

The other two strong points are the practical effects that channel the style of lower budget cult classics from the early 80s, and the sound scheme consisting of enhanced ambiental noises and masterfully blended unnerving strings music. Having in mind that the dialogue is deliberately scarce and quieted down, that kind of play with the sound design and the music highlights our protagonist’s distress and rounds up Limbo stylistically.

Original title: Limbo
Year: 2018
Country: Spain
Language: Gallegan
Runtime: 15′ 16”
Directed by: Dani Viqueira
Written by: Dani Viqueira
Cast: Xosé M. Eirín, Rita Aneiros, Paula Morado
Cinematography by: Lucía C. Pan
Editing by: Dani Viqueira
Music by: Germán Diaz
Produced by: Dani Viqueira
Line producer: Suso López