Slasher Perfection From Argentina

Argentina takes a fresh crack at the well-trodden path blazed by such horror classics as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. What The Waters Left Behind is nasty R-rated horror aimed at dedicated genre fans, a market Hollywood has increasingly abandoned in favor of other demographics. Filmmakers Luciano and Nicolás Onetti have crafted an impressive new entry in the redneck slasher genre that stands toe to toe with the best horror films from the last decade.

A leisurely trip to the flooded town of Epecuén for a documentary filmmaker and his small crew becomes a living nightmare. Located in Argentina, the isolated landscape offers a foreboding presence dripping with menace. Flooded for over thirty years, Vasco has brought his girlfriend and a few friends to film an interview with Carla, one of the few living survivors from Epecuén. Supposedly deserted, the group encounters troubles in the abandoned town that spiral out of control.

What The Waters Left Behind is one of the best horror flicks in recent memory

Known for Francesca and their giallo Abrakadabra, the Onetti brothers more or less make the perfect slasher movie in What The Waters Left Behind. While nothing happening is entirely original, stunning visuals and down-to-earth characters nicely come together. The twists work even if you kind of guess what’s happening. The slickly made film is a bloody good time, delivering exactly what long-starved slasher fans desire. Without pandering to casual moviegoers, the taut script and suspenseful atmosphere hits all the right notes.

Made outside of Hollywood in Argentina, What the Waters Left Behind keenly embraces some of horror’s best-loved tropes without feeling derivative. Elements are plucked from Wrong Turn, Hostel and any number of successful slashers from the past. Yes, the nods to Texas Chainsaw Massacre are blatant and obvious. Having abandoned mid-budget horror films aimed at adults, it’s necessary for outsiders like the Onetti brothers to fill in for Hollywood’s increasingly timid filmmaking.

What The Waters Left Behind is one of the best horror flicks in recent memory with superb acting and electric filmmaking. This is how a slasher should be made with masterful storytelling and a gritty tone.

Video

The 2017 Argentine production looks gorgeously grim on Blu-ray with commanding digital cinematography that evokes fear and terror. The moody color correction and impressive visuals enhance the stark, desolate setting.

Unearthed Films delivers a perfect HD presentation in razor-sharp 1080P video. Presented in its intended 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the main feature runs 94 minutes. Coming on a BD-25, the AVC encode has no issues translating the digital intermediate’s superior clarity and definition.

What the Waters Left Behind offers outstanding fine detail with highly revealing shadow delineation. This is one slasher movie that lays out every gory happening in explicit and bloody action.

Audio

What the Waters Left Behind has a powerful soundtrack with an aggressive sound mix. The Spanish-language movie receives two options: a dense 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround presentation with discrete activity and clean channel separation; while slightly less impressive stereo PCM audio retains the intelligible dialogue and low-end impact.

The movie’s audio design delights in the industrial sounds needed to pull off the convincing slasher atmosphere. Environmental cues play into the mounting sense of dread with excellent rear support. Taking a page from movies such as Hostel, the surround field offers intelligent placement and blood-curling screams coming at the listener in all directions.

The capable dynamic range and cleanly recorded dialogue makes for real theatrical intensity. What the Waters Left Behind’s fantastic production values extends to its finely layered surround audio.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font, partially outside the scope presentation.

Extras

Distributed by MVD Visual for Unearthed Films, the Region A Blu-ray arrives with a couple of token special features. The movie is so well-made a director’s commentary would have been nice.

What The Waters Left Behind Film Footage (06:57 in HD) – Raw, behind-the-scenes footage from the movie’s set, showing a glimpse of how certain scenes were filmed. No dialogue is included.

Image Gallery (HD) – 53 still photographs and shots taken from the production.

What The Waters Left Behind Trailer (01:32 in SD)

Unearthed Films TrailersDark Side of the Moon (01:58 in HD), Gutterballs (00:35 in SD), Nightwish (01:38 in HD), Unnamable (02:12 in SD).

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review by the label. This has not affected the editorial process by DoBlu. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page.

What the Waters Left Behind
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
5

Movie

A slick slasher from Argentina that pays homage to the genre’s seminal films without feeling unnecessary or derivative.

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User Review
4 (1 vote)

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