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Arts & Culture

Review: 'The Body' ('El Cuerpo')

A Hitcthcockian Thriller About A Cadaver Gone Missing

Trailer: The Body (El Cuerpo)

"The Body (El Cuerpo)" screened earlier this year at the San Diego Latino Film Festival and thankfully it gets a full week run at the Digital Gym Cinema starting today. The film comes from the producers of "The Orphanage."

Oriol Paulo crafts a clever tale dripping with Hitchcockian style and wit. This Spanish thriller opens with a guard fleeing in panic from a morgue. What follows is an investigation not only into where the corpse are gone but also into the particular details of how the woman died. Belén Rueda (of "The Orphange") plays Mayka Villaverde, an heiress, businesswoman, and cruel prankster. It’s her body that has gone missing from the forensics lab where her cause of death was still under scrutiny. She’s not too sorely missed by her husband Alex Ulloa (Hugo Silva), a younger man who’s been having an affair with another woman (Aura Garrido). Jaime Pena (Jose Coronado) is the detective on the case and it becomes a cat and mouse game in which the cat might be the killer or the dead woman.

Paulo invests the film with slick, clinical elegance as the story runs at a breathless pace through a series of flashbacks and rainy night interrogations. There are so many twists and turns that you think there’s no way for him to wrap it up in anything approaching a satisfactory manner, yet he pulls it off with great panache. This is a film to savor like a fine dessert.


“The Body (El Cuerpo)” (unrated and in Spanish with English subtitles) is exactly the type of film The Digital Gym should be showing. It’s a deliciously entertaining film that proved itself worthy of a return engagement in its screenings at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Yet it’s not the kind of film that could fill a bigger mainstream theater. I urge you to check it out this week and support quality filmmaking at a truly independent film venue.

Please note that the Digital Gym Cinema is a venue where I volunteer as a guest programmer for the Film Geeks Present late night film series.

Companion viewing: “The Double Hour,” “Read My Lips,” “Tell No One