THE CHAPEL (Sitges 2023) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Spanish filmmaker Carlota Pereda made an impressive international splash with her feature debut Piggy in 2022, adapted from her 2018 Goya Award winning short of the same name. Pereda successfully rides this earlier success to her sophomore effort, the ambitious horror-fantasy The Chapel. Pereda’s vision in The Chapel is a grand, expansive one, and it is hard to believe this is only her second feature film; clearly one of the leading lights of contemporary European genre filmmaking, if this is the caliber of work she is doing now, we can only imagine what further delights wait in store

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PIGGY (MIFF 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The unrelenting bullying Sara receives is made harder by the fact that one of those who participates in it was once a close friend. So when Sara witnesses the abduction of the bullies, any instinct to help is complicated by the sense that justice has prevailed. As Sara and the stranger responsible for the abductions increasingly cross paths, she is forced to address her own culpability and – more importantly – her own desire for vengeance. There’s nothing patronizing or moralizing about Piggy, and it’s all the better for it; simultaneously a strong character portrait and a twisted coming-of-age film, this is tough but satisfying viewing.

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