A Man loses everything he cares for in the slow-burn horror film The Wait. Playing Fantastic Fest 2023
Far too often audiences have no patience. They want a story or storyteller to get to the point. Sometimes the point is patience. It’s the slow and ever-tightening noose around the neck never realizing how tight it is until it’s too late. The Wait is the newest film from writer/director F. Javier Gutierrez. If one allows The Wait its time, one will be rewarded with a truly richly dark uncompromising piece of horror.
Set in the Andalusian countryside of Spain, Eladio (Victor Clavijo) has just made a deal with one of the landowner Don Franco to allow more hunters onto the land. This small compromise, one that Eladio understands is wrong, sets in motion a spiral of violence and nightmarish consequences of biblical proportions. It isn’t that the writing isn’t on the wall, it very much so is, but it’s how Gutierrez is able to show Eladio’s descent that gives the film its power.
For those who find the inevitable journey’s end of sin fascinating, The Wait is for you. It is a riddle with no answer, only questions. Which some may find frustrating or lacking. This is not the point of The Wait nor its intent – to give one answers. It never has its sights set on explaining away the why’s and how’s of itself. The Wait is a purely cinematic venture. One that only shows decisions, right or wrong, and the consequence of those. Those who want a happy ending or explanations for their horror films should look elsewhere. For those looking for a challenging film that is adroitly aware of its purpose look no further than The Wait.
To discuss more would be to ruin one of the more profoundly personal horror films in recent memory.