DVD Review: The Nameless
The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre) (1999)
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2005
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró
Cast: Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde, Pep Tosar, Brendan Price, Carlos Lasarte
Brutal As Hell Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars
Review By: Annie Riordan
It’s been five years since the waterlogged body of a badly mutilated little girl was fished from the sewer and identified as Angela Gifford, the only child of Claudia Gifford. Since that terrible day, Claudia has managed to move on, despite the dissolution of her marriage and a failed relationship with a toxic new beau. Then, one day, Claudia receives a frantic phone call from a young girl claiming to be Angela. The girl begs Claudia to come and get her before “they” can hurt her again. But where is she? And who are “they?” With the help of retired cop Bruno Massera, Claudia uncovers the existence of a diabolical cult called The Nameless, a sect dedicated to the scientific purity of evil. With its roots stretching back to the Holocaust, The Nameless are elite, untouchable and unstoppable. Claudia is determined to save Angela from their clutches, but – it turns out – nothing is what it seems, no one can be trusted and the real horror is only just beginning.
Based on the book by Ramsey Campbell (which I have not read, just so you know) The Nameless is, for the first hour or so, an intriguing thriller which immediately captured my full attention. With its scattered clues of barbaric Nazi medical practices and Dachau death camp atrocities, I was fully on board for the duration. Much more promising and coherent than Balagueró 2002 supernatural mess “Darkness,” The Nameless waits until the last twenty minutes to start falling apart, descending into primo “Huh?” territory with a downer ending that I failed to fully grasp.
Maybe I need to read the book, maybe I missed something, maybe I’m just totally fucking stupid. But after over an hour of dedicated viewing, I felt frustrated and letdown as many of the clues are left to dangle in the breeze and the film borrows a tired “Silence Of The Lambs” premise in the form of a brilliant killer offering information from prison, all piranha teeth grimaces and cold demeanor.
Okay, so it’s better than Darkness but not as good as [REC], Balagueró’s latest and most successful offering. He seems to be getting better as he goes along, so I’ll stick with him and hope for the best.