Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 29/08/2021

FORGIVENESS [FrightFest 2021]

Three women wake up in a hospital with no idea how they got there. One can’t speak, one can’t hear, and one can’t see. When they find each other, they have to band together to escape.

This taunt, haunting movie was written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Alex Kahuam, who lets the visuals do the talking as it’s almost completely dialogue-free. It’s hauntingly filmed in long, fluid shots that heighten the frantic panic of the women it follows. It’s split into chapters, each named after the three women (Jessica Ortiz, Alejanda Zaid, and Alejandra Toussaint), who find that they are not the only ones who are being punished in this nightmare of a hospital.

The sound design is probably more important than ever here, and Gilda Garcia and Hugo Wini do a superb job of disorientating and drawing the viewer into the situation (warning for tinnitus sufferers, though, as chapter two might cause you problems!). Forgiveness is packed full of disturbing imagery with a surreal edge and is terrifyingly mesmerising.