THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME (Fantasia Fest 2020)

THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME is also known as LA FUNERALIA (better title) and is directed by Mauro Iván Ojeda and is an Argentinian haunted house feature film that had it’s opening screening at Fantasia International Film Festival 2020 on Friday August 21, 2020 @ 730PM and will screen again August 26, 2020 @ 1130PM EST. THE UNDERTAKER’S HOME stars Luis Machín, Celeste Gerez and Camila Vaccarini as a disjointed family unit that is currently living in Bernado’s (Luis Machin) funeral home and mortuary. Right away with this feature we are thrown into a world of the paranormal, ghosts, and things that more than go bump in the night.
The ghosts aren’t the final reveal of the film, rather they are “shown” almost immediately – the family unit seemingly indifferent but very aware of the spirits that surround them. This played as surprising to me at first, but quickly became somewhat confusing.

The family’s bathroom is haunted so they have to use a porta potty outside in a kind of real life Moaning Myrtle situation. The ghosts make their way into the family’s rooms, and the blasé nature with which the family deals with them seems.. off putting, though I recognize that their could be a cultural element here that I am not understanding.
The family unit suffers – a mother haunted by the trauma of her ex-husband, a teenage daughter living in resentment of her mother for breaking up their family unit, and a stepfather at his wits end trying to communicate with a stepdaughter who wants nothing to do with him. And I get it – Bernardo seemingly has all the cards stacked against him – a stepfather with a fucking funeral home? Seems bad, man.
But as the ghosts of the house become more restless, the home becomes more funereal than real, and the family cleaning lady Ramona urges them to make peace with the spirits before finding a hidden altar which she haphazardly uses in a vain occult ritual to exorcise the spirits. Like most celloloid exorcisms before it, it all goes wrong, and a demon appears.
The film takes a turn from paranormal to just plain bonkers and while the first act was near painfully slow, the final act is over before the viewer can even figure out what’s happening and the film seems to just trail off.

While I appreciated the masterful score of Jeremias Smith, I felt like this film lost me along the way. There was some significantly beautiful and bizarre visuals to behold that seemed to get bogged down in a plot that was both contrived and at points crazy. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters and in truth was more baffled by the visuals of a ghost blowjob, haunted shithouses, and demon grandmas.

DIAG RATING 3/6 – very middle of the road and middling ghost story with some cool elements that seemed to get lost inside the confusion of it all.

You can check out more of our Fantasia coverage here:

The Drunk in a Graveyard guide to the TEN FILMS we are most psyched about at Fantasia Fest 2020.

Our interview with Detention (返校) director John Hsu 徐漢強 is here, coverage of YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE is here, Brea Grant’s 12 HOUR SHIFT and Ryan Spindell’s THE MORTUARY COLLECTION can be found on our latest podcast episode, and coverage of Amelia Moses’s BLEED WITH ME, 上田慎一郎 Shinichiro Ueda’s SPECIAL ACTORS, Neil Marshall’s THE RECKONING, short film DOPPELBÅNGER here, as well as our podcast episode on Justin McConnell’s documentary Clapboard Jungle here. And be sure to stay tuned for more coverage coming up soon, and follow our social media to keep up!


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