Skip to content

THE WAIT [Fantastic Fest 2023]

Written By:

Martin Unsworth
the wait

Javier Gutiérrez (Rings) returns to his Spanish roots with this rural shocker that takes its time to burrow into your head before unleashing a surreal and nightmarish finale.

Set in the ‘70s, Eladio (Victor Clavijo) has taken a job as a groundskeeper that will set him and his family up for the next few years. While planning an annual hunt, he reluctantly takes a bribe to increase the number of shooting stands. When tragedy strikes, his life becomes an increasingly living hell.

The Wait (La espera) is the sort of story that thrives from being in a foreign language. With the rugged expanse of the Spanish countryside as its backdrop, the tale gradually unwinds before us, moving from a heartbreaking family drama in the vein of Jean de Florette to a demented piece of folk horror. Clavijo is captivating as a good man who makes one wrong decision, albeit against his better judgement. The class system is part of the real horror here, too. The landowners and his acolytes visibly have a superiority over the much more moral menial worker, something that’s brought to a head in the shocking climax.

Miguel Ángel Mora’s cinematography makes the most of the rural landscape, and this creates a vivid contrast to Eladio’s grace-and-favour, basic home, which gets more oppressive and claustrophobic as events unfold. The nightmarish scenario he finds himself in is all the more believable, thanks to Clavijo’s impressive, relatable performance.

The Wait is a brooding, potent tale of calamity, loss, revenge, and class divides. It would do it a disservice to call it merely a horror film, as there is so much more here and plenty of food for thought.


THE WAIT screened at Fantastic Fest 2023.

You May Also Like...

First Look at Pigeon Shrine FrightFest Opener BROKEN BIRD

The opening film at this year’s Pigeon Shrine FrightFest is Joanne Mitchell’s Broken Bird, an expansion of her 2018 short, Sybil. Mitchell wrote the film alongside Tracey Sheals and her
Read More
catnado trailer still

CATNADO Is Coming, And We Are Seated

We all love (or love to hate, if you also hate fun) the Sharknado franchise, whose success has spawned its fair share of imitations, including titles like Clownado and Monsternado
Read More

Exclusive: VIDEO VISION Teaser and Poster Unveiled

The Pigeon Shrine FrightFest line-up was announced yesterday (check here if you missed it), and now we can exclusively reveal the poster and teaser for Video Vision, one of the
Read More
doctor manhattan in first trailer for watchmen chapter 1 by brandon vietti

WATCHMEN CHAPTER 1 Drops Excellent First Trailer

Warner Bros. Animation and Paramount have dropped the first trailer for their animated feature, Watchmen Chapter 1, a two-part film based on the classic DC Comics. The alt-history series is
Read More
paul b. rainey graphic novel why don't you love me? cover illustration

Jennifer Lawrence To Star In A24 Graphic Novel Adaptation WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?

Jennifer Lawrence’s projects just keep lining up, with news that A24 has optioned Paul B. Rainey’s dark sci-fi comedy graphic novel Why Don’t You Love Me and have tapped Lawrence
Read More

Pigeon Shrine FrightFest 2024 Line-Up Unleashed!

The wait is over! The line-up for the 2024 edition of Pigeon Shrine FrightFest is here. Taking place between Thursday, August 22nd and Monday, August 26th, the event will take
Read More