Director: Neil Boultby
Cast: Neil Boultby, Bea Jugo C., Natalia Kaverznikova
Production Company: NB Productions
Runtime: 99 minutes
Coco (2016) is a psychological horror film with elements of drama, and even a few nods to the slasher genre. Supernatural terror and real world horror co-exist in this film. The movie was written and directed by Neil Boultby, who also plays Richard in the film.
Phoebe (Natalia Kaverznikova) is a young woman who is tortured by grim childhood memories. While trying to come to grips with her past, she inadvertently awakens a long forgotten horror. Soon, Phoebe begins to feel as though a dark presence is with her at all times. This presence effects both Phoebe, and those around her as well.
The action in the movie burns very slowly, building tension and mystery along the way. The pacing is reminiscent to that seen occasionally in Twin Peaks (2017). Long takes are often used by Boultby to instill a sense of dread, and to confound the viewer.
Boultby uses odd angles and stylized shots to help tell the story of Coco. For example, he effectively utilizes mirrors to create the feeling that Phoebe is being watched. He also uses extreme close-ups to make the viewer feel a little uncomfortable at times.
The film is in both English and Spanish, though there is actually very little dialogue in the movie. Much of the story is told through broad actions and creepy images. The movie was shot in various locations around Santa Pola and Alicante in Spain. The scenery is simply beautiful, and a big part of the movie.
The original music by Steve Riven is quite effective, especially the piano piece at the beginning of the movie. There are also a few good jump scares in the film that are made all the more frightening by the score. Additional music by ThrillshowX and Alex Lisi adds some variety to the soundtrack.
So, in the end, who is Coco? The answer lies in popular myth. The film opens with a 17th century rhyme about the bogeyman, who is also known as El Coco in Spain. In folklore, this evil entity punishes naughty children who disobey their parents, or stay up past their bedtime.
To some extent, Coco is a movie in which you have to be willing to participate. The long moments of silence will leave you alone with your own thoughts, forcing you to consider what is happening and why. It’s fun to put together the pieces on your own. Just don’t do it after you’re supposed to be in bed, if you know what’s good for you.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…