Grimmfest Review: Urubú

If there’s one thing that the political turmoil and polarisation of the last few years have demonstrated it’s that we’re increasingly living in socio-economic bubbles. Surrounding ourselves with likeminded people. Living, working and socialising is these rather homogeneous communities. We might hear news stories or tales of how other people live, but rarely engage, empathise or interact with them. That’s the case in Alejandro Ibáñez’s new film, Urubú, which highlights the plight of the poor and disenfranchised in a highly unusual way.

In a desperate attempt to boost his career, Tomás (Carlos Urrutia) embarks on a trip down the Amazon River. The wildlife photographer is desperate to snap a rare bird – an albino Urubú, which will make his name in the field. He drags his reluctant wife Eva (Clarice Alves) and young daughter Andrea (Jullie D’Arrigo) along for the ride. Tomás becomes increasingly obsessed, to the detriment of his family, but when Andrea disappears a vulture is the least of his worries.

 Urubú is one of the strangest horror films you’re likely to see this year. It’s a bold, bloody and brutal descent into a tropic hell. Ibáñez mixes elements of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with Golding’s Lord of the Flies to create a South American jungle fever dream. Employing some death-defying camerawork, the audience is propelled deep into the centre of the rainforest.  Urubú is a scrappy and barbaric primeval chiller.  

 Urubú screened at Grimmfest

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