Found footage horror that doesn’t seem to exist.
There is no information on this movie on IMDB, but I found this link that proves it actually exists.
Strayed is a Mexican horror film that follows four film students who are investigated an old bath house building for their thesis. They go in aware that the place is supposedly haunted, and to make matters a little more interesting, this film exists in a universe where the characters have seen other horror movies.
The problems with the movie begin quickly and are mainly linked to the characters. Simply put, none of the characters are very likable; however, they are believable. Some films can get away this a bit more than others, and this film simply cannot. They are rude, crass, and simply annoying. It is unfortunate that the writers chose to have the characters interact with indifference or simple abrasiveness toward everything and everyone they encounter. The clearest example of this is when they are given the tour of the building. Nearly thirty minutes in and there are no scares, no real backstory, and just a lot of talking.
Found footage films seem to enjoy filming banal experiences, and they often due so under the guise of building tension or character development. In reality, these empty scenes are nothing more than a way to fill out time for the movie. We have a nearly ten-minute car ride at the start of this film that doesn’t serve much of any purpose.
The boredom doesn’t cease as the documentary finally (and I mean finally) gets underway. I get that film students going into a haunted building has become a sort of trope in the genre, but they could get to the point a lot faster. It is also weird that the film is more or less bereft of actual documentary scenes. One would think that these would be interspersed throughout the film, but no, instead we have a sort of making-of film.
Further hurting the film is the predictable and dumb character relations that drag down almost every horror film. The outsider to the group, Roman, is blamed when spooky stuff happens. You might ask yourself why their instinct would be to blame someone when something happens in a supposedly haunted building. The reason is to create cheap tension, but it is just annoying.
The set design is okay, it does look like a mostly abandoned building. The sound is horrible throughout the film. Echoes and static crunch through a lot of the dialogue and if it wasn’t for subtitles (it is a Spanish language film) I could not make out many words. I feel badly for the transcriber on this one.
The setting is wasted here. The film does not bother to go into any detail about why this place is haunted, what the history is, or so forth. The opening of the film (which is only audio) gives a little bit of a backstory but how or why it is connected to the current events is not elaborated in any sort of timely manner. The question you will ask yourself when watching this movie is “why?” Why are they here, why was this film made, and so forth.
The movie is so dark you will be staring at a blank screen for a good chunk of the scares. The characters and camerawork are equally nauseating. I must admit I was so bored that a couple of the jump scares did get me. A complete waste. 1/10