Is it wrong to judge a movie by its trailer?
There is always that element of luring the audience with the most tantalising elements of the film and yet, there was something that captured my intrigue towards David Liz’s sophomore feature.
The Welder boasts all the hallmarks of a decent horror movie, with a psychologically unbalanced killer, who comes into contact with a traumatised victim to force the latter into confronting and potentially overcoming her fears.
At the heart of the movie Liz injects the theme of race and the gulf that divides us. More importantly it tackles the notion of what happens within this chasm when it is not adhered to and left within the wastelands of neglect.
This theme is driven through the eyes of Eliza (Camilla Rodriguez) a young latino woman, a former military doctor who faced her fair share of traumatic experiences that continue to haunt her. This deeply immersed incident is what encourages her boyfriend, Roe (Roe Dunkley) to book a holiday for them to a remote ranch, away from life’s turmoils so that they can be together and recuperate.
But it wouldn’t be a horror thriller without a catch to their chosen paradise. This comes in the guise of ranch owner, William Godwin (Vincent de Paul) who harbours a secret beneath his pleasant demeanour, one that has pushed him to madness, experimenting with a warped vision to eradicate this racial discrimination.
There are some suitably scarring moments that are brought to screen with the image of body mutilation and psychological tension brought to the fore. The dialogue is often delivered naturally between the two leads, Rodriguez and Dunkley with great chemistry. Rodriguez in particular is great to watch drifting through the various stages of anxiety and fear. I did feel that de Paul’s performance as the doctor struggled to lift out of the innate appeal to shift into the heightened state of macabre delirium needed to convey enough scares.
It’s a slow burn which has its pros and cons in that it allows time to build up character depth, but loses out in delivering enough for a satisfying climax.
Still, a worthy effort and has enough strong parts from which to fuse Liz’s narrative and creativity.
- Saul Muerte
The Welder is available on digital platforms from Feb 24th.