The Chalk Line (2022): Horror/Mystery/Thriller

A couple that is trying to have kids stumbles upon a young girl with partial mutism and the mystery about who she is and where she came from begins.

Flawed, but gripping! Without wasting any time, it cuts right to it. At first, it seems quite disjointed as if writer Isabel Peña and writer/director Ignacio Tatay are rushing to be done with each sequence. But then, the fast-paced editing moves the fast story forward even faster as if you are watching it in fast forward. And as if that’s not enough, every single shot’s internal rhythm – mostly medium or close-up tracking shots – seems so fast because everyone is moving fast in it. I’m sure intensifying the narrative was the reason behind those decisions, but, honestly, my eyes started tripping.

OK, there is some really good news as well though. The story itself, based on actual events, is brilliant. Peña has developed an original, suspenseful, and scary plot (the girl’s appearance out of nowhere) over a realistic and dramatic subplot (the insufferable pain of not being able to have kids) that has been psychologically and physically ripping people apart since the dawn of time. Tatay should have paced it more patiently, leaving the shots to “breathe” more and the audience to “absorb” the happiness and sadness, to get carried away by the suspense, and to be able to tell the difference.

There is an impactful and intense climax that definitely deserves your time and attention. What’s more, the wonderful Elena Anaya (Paula) does an incredible job as a woman with a maternal instinct who would do anything to protect someone as if she was hers. Pablo Molinero (Simón) beams an underlying sorrowful darkness next to her as well.

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One thought on “The Chalk Line (2022): Horror/Mystery/Thriller

  1. I will watch this as long as my eyes can keep up. It does sound very interesting. Good review mate.

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