Fabián Forte’s latest feels like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest meets The Evil Dead. Filled with slapstick, dark humor, and gory creature effects, Legions delivers a delightful dissection of possession tropes mixed with a relatable sense of humor. The mixture results in a loving millennial montage of pop culture and horror of the past 40-odd years.
A widowed shaman must escape his asylum prison before the demon Kuaraya takes over Argentina. However, he can’t do this alone. Our hero must first reconcile with his estranged daughter, restoring the faith she lost after her mother’s death. Granted, the story occasionally sacrifices clarity for brevity, but no more than average for low budget films. What’s more, we forgive these minor imperfections as they, in turn, give way to creatively grotesque imagery. After all, do you really want a 20 minute backstory? Or are you ready for the floating she-bitch from Army of Darkness to start crushing skulls?
Stoic performances from Germán de Silva and Lorena Vega ground the fantastical story. Meanwhile, our off-kilter cast of misfits at the asylum, led by Marta Haller, deliver much-appreciated levity. The most memorable moments, outside of the horror, come from a collection of scenes where de Silva’s “Antonio” regales his fellow patients with tales of magic and spiritual battles from the jungle. These stories–sorry, life experiences according to Antonio–form the basis for a play the asylum patients are hilariously rehearsing.
While it may seem silly and inconsequential, this foundation pays off when they work as a team to help Antonio escape the asylum to confront Kuaraya. Our unlikely group comes together to pull off a hilarious caper. Absurdly fun set pieces feature amazing contortionist effects, driving our main characters to their final showdown.
So while everyone flocks to the next Hollywood horror, Legions serves as a reminder to look beyond our own shores. A world of horror awaits us all in South America and beyond.