MOVIE REVIEW: Wekufe: The Origin of Evil (2016)

Paula (Paula Figueroa) is a journalism student who, along with her boyfriend Matias (Matias Aldea) are traveling to the island of Chiloe, which is off the southern coast of Chile. She is doing a piece on the enormous amounts of sexual crimes that take place there and how they relate to the various myths and legends that surround the area. Matias is a filmmaker and he sees their trip as an opportunity tp begin work on a found footage type of film. Once they arrive, they quickly get to work and begin to question the locals about the sex crimes, the alarming pregnancy rate of the island, and the legend of the Trauco. He is supposed to be a dwarf like creature with a large penis that can make women fall for him where he then leads them into the woods and impregnates them. It quickly becomes apparent their line of questioning is causing the locals to become uncomfortable. With Paula becoming sick, they need to get out of there but the truth is right there in front of them and it’s something they cannot walk away from.

WEKUFE: THE ORIGIN OF EVIL is another entry in the neverending stream of found footage films. Although it is ‘another entry’ it’s not JUST another entry, in fact it’s one of the best ones I’ve seen in quite some time. I’ve grown tired with the subgenre and very few of the more recent films have done anything to help restore my interest in them. WEKUFE takes the gimmick and strips it back down to the basics. It feels modeled (it does not copy or rip off) after THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT with one single differing factor. The myth tackled in this film is 100% real which adds to mystery of the picture. Look up the Trauco on Wikipedia, it’s highly bizarre and rather unsettling but it’s part of the culture on the island of Chiloe.

Writer/director Javier Attridge goes to great lengths to make the film feel as authentic as possible. He uses people from the island within his film so the reality of the myth is blended with the fiction of the film and it all works tremendously well. Just getting into the history of the island and what they believe is quite an interesting tale in itself.

These types of films cannot work unless you have actors who can sell it as a possible reality. Paula Figueroa and Matias Aldea are perfect and highly believable as the young couple. Their banter with one another is fun and the way they present themselves to each other as a single unit is very authentic. So when bad things begin to happen, you get an uneasy feeling, you don’t want them to get hurt. Matias and Paula are fantastic, giving the film its heart, while Javier Attridge successfully churns out a very dark tale that will haunt you for years.

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