The Nameless is a Spanish language thriller, written
by Ramsey Campbell and directed by Jaume Balaguero, that presents
an interesting concept in terms of the source of evil. And
it's not so much about the evil that causes the problems inherent
in the story, but the actual reasoning behind their methods.
The story begins in a flurry of horror as the mutilated body
of a young girl is found by the police. After a phone call,
Claudia (Vilarasau) and her husband are told that the body
is their missing daughter.
Five years pass when Claudia, who is moving on with her life
after her divorce from her husband, receives a phone call
from her deceased daughter. The phone call pulls her into
a dark world where she no longer believes that her daughter
is dead. With the aid of a retired cop (Elajalde), she comes
across a dark cult known as the Nameless. Unlike most dark
cults, this one pushes the level of darkness to new depths.
The members forgo their names and try to find the most perfect
form of evil by performing the most disturbing acts of malice
on others. In light of this revelation, Claudia becomes more
and more upset as she tries to find her daughter.
As with many European films, The Nameless is quite
deliberate and slow with its pacing. There is great care taken
with developing the characters as the story moves along. Because
of this, some sequences just focus on the lives of the cast
and how they act and react to their environment and each other.
The film is shot with a a richness that broken in certain
moments when Claudia is drawn closer to the Nameless, shattered
by a machine-gun attack of images meant to throw the viewer
off. These momentary derailings set an uneasy tone that keeps
you from feeling "safe" at any given point.
Throughout the film, the acting is solid, proving a deeper
dramatic experience than most thrillers tend to get. There
area few rare moments of melodrama from Vilarasau, but the
rest of the cast makes the most of their time. The English
dub actually falls in line well with the onscreen performances,
making those who prefer dub to sub experience the film on
the same level as those who understand the native language.
The Nameless really does try to present a dark and
disturbing idea to base its "monsters" around. It's a concept
that I really wish would have been expanded upon. Too bad during
the duration of the movie, the film builds to a pinnacle of
revelation and then hands us an ending that leaves us hanging.
The actual ending is shockingly different than most American
viewers will expect, but the execution leaves a lot of questions
The Nameless is another in a series of European thrillers
that I think most psychological/horror fans should try to
watch. It provides some interesting ideas and a cast of damaged
characters that can't help but be drawn into the dark events
of the ending.