Director: Jose Luis Montesinos
Writer: Jose Luis Montesinos, Yako Blesa (Screenplay)
Starring: Paula del Rio, Miguel Angel Jenner, Jordi Aguilar, Ana Terrasa, Irene Terrasa
Plot: A girl paralyzed. A rabid dog. A duel to death for survival.
Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Ropes starts as we meet Elena (del Rio) who has been paralyzed in a car crash which saw her twin sister killed, she is forced to move in with her estranged father Miguel (Jenner) who has arranged a trained Belgian Shepard Athos to help with the needs around the house.
When moving in Athos is bitten by a dying bat, Miguel suffers a heart attack and Elena is left trapped inside the house, with no way of contacting any help, while Athos starts to turn ravenous.
Thoughts on Ropes
Characters – Elena is the paralyzed teenager, she is filled with grief, because it was her accident which not only left her like this, but killer her sister, she has tried to kill herself before, with her needing to move in with her estranged father to try and help he rebuild her life. She has a pet ferret and is going to need to get used to having a support dog in her life, one she does not want in her life. She is still trying to get back into her first day with this new life when the support dog Athos gets infected with rabies and now, she needs to use her limited movement to try and survive in the house. Athos is a character himself, the Belgian Shepard dog that has been trained to help around the house, he gets infected with rabies and starts to get a blood lust, trying to use his intelligence to try and get to Elena. Miguel is the father that hasn’t always been there, but now he is trying to help her in her time of need. Vera is the twin sister that died in the car crash, she is still seen by Elena who is filled with the guilt for her death.
Performances – Paula del Rio is wonderful in the leading role, she shows us the grief for the accident as well as completing the dual roles of being vision of the twin sister, she also does most of the work in the film needing to be centre stage.
Story – The story here follows a paralysed teenager that finds herself trapped in a house with a rabies infested ravenous dog trying to break in to kill her, using the training it has been given to try and outsmart the teenager. This story is impossible not to compare to Cujo with the idea of a character needing to stay ahead of a rabies infested dog, this does however bring its own twist, with the character being unable to fight back and the dog being smarter because of the extra training it has been through. While this might look like a battle to survive against a dog, we do also have the message of battling against grief to try and move on with life coming through strong.
Horror – The horror side of the film comes from seeing how Elena must think to stay ahead of the ravenous dog, with high tension required to show the situation being difficult.
Settings – The film uses the one main location, the house that is slightly beaten down home that has been adapted in places for Elena to move into.
Scene of the Movie – The lift.
Final Thoughts – Ropes is an intense horror that builds on the legacy of Cujo to bring us a fresh more intense version of the good dog turned ravenous.