Passport Series 2017
The Untamed / La Región Salvaje (Mexico)
Other than a strange glimpse of a slow-moving meteorite, The Untamed begins by focusing on the unhappy relationship siblings Alejandra (Ruth Ramos) and Fabián (Edén Villavicencio) have with Alejandra's closeted, homophobic husband, Ángel (Jesús Meza). Their cycle of repression is punctured by the arrival of Veronica (Simone Bucio), a mysterious stranger who harbors an eye-popping secret in the countryside. Director Amat Escalante is no stranger to controversy, but for the first time he's merged his brand of intense social realism with a sci-fi monster a la Andrzej Zulawski's cult-favorite horror film Possession (1981). This improbable set-up is anchored by moving performances, unflinching directorial control, and an all-too-human curiosity to play with that which can hurt us the most, whether human, animal...or extraterrestrial.
"A fantastical premise collides with Escalante's solemn realism, making for a quiet, unforgettable mash-up." (April Wolfe, Village Voice)
"Thick with a heady fog of lustful yearning...Escalante's refusal to reduce this being into a mere monster preserves the unearthly carnal mystery that makes The Untamed such an intoxicating and disturbing experience." (Keith Watson, Slant)