It's not often we recommend you don't read reviews of a movie before you see it, but that's the case with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's superior Spanish thriller. Get into the cinema without knowing a single thing about Intacto and we guarantee you'll be scratching several layers of skin off your bonce, as debut writer/director Fresnadillo delivers both a blinding - - and pleasingly puzzling - - set-up.
Still here? Oh well, here we go then... Petty criminal Tomás (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is rushed to hospital after waking up in the smoking wreckage of a passenger jet. Not only is he the sole survivor of the crash (at odds of 237 million to one), he also has a large amount of dosh taped to his belly. The cops are suspicious, so Tomás thinks it's his lucky day when insurance investigator Federico (Eusebio Poncela) offers him a way out. Only there's a catch. In exchange, Federico wants Tomás to wear a blindfold, put syrup in his hair and sit in a room with three strangers, while a weird insect buzzes around their heads. Huh?
That's only the beginning of Fresnadillo's mind-warping, inventive thriller about a group of gamblers who maintain that good fortune isn't an abstract concept but a real power. Drawn into this dark underworld, Tomás starts playing some bizarre games of chance - the best of which involves a mad, blindfolded dash through a forest - before realising that he can actually steal luck from those around him... With disastrous consequences.
With its weird betting games and teasing, convoluted set-up, Intacto is a ballsy first feature. It's a little slow in places and, truth be told, there's probably less here than meets the eye, but that's a small price to pay when you're dealing with something this technically assured, this original.
One of the strangest movies you'll see this year? You bet.
Watch the trailer
Audacious, enigmatic, astounding - Intacto chews up adjectives like a rabid Doberman. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is definitely a filmmaker to watch out for in the future.