Painless (2012) Poster


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Brilliant terror film dealing with two stories : a surgeon who discovers his dark past and an asylum with weird little boys
ma-cortes31 March 2015
Creepy film builds tension by showing virtually astonishing frames , unsettling musical score and appropriate sets . Mystery , terror , and intriguing flick concerns about two alternating stories that end up being the same along with inter-crossed roles filled with internal conflicts and discoveries . In one, in the present time , a neurosurgeon called David Martel (Alex Brendemühl), urgently needs a bone marrow transplant , and he is exhaustively seeking clues about his past . During his quest , he finds strange conclusions , as David will exhume terrifying secrets . As Martel moves to a far-off place lost in the mountains and a series of odd events will shock him when he searches for his biological parents . The only way to heal his illness will be disclosing the terrible secret a sanatorium hides . The second story set at the dawn of the Spanish civil war , a group of children , insensitive to pain , is locked in a sanatorium ruled by Dr. Holzmann (Derek De Lint) and Dr. Carcedo (Ramon Fontserè) in the heart of the Pyrenees . There is an isolated , shadowy asylum located on mountains of Catalonia, starting in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War , and running through to the '60s, and at this place inhabits some children without serious physical reaction . But horrible , violent deeds begin to occur and hideous murders take place.

Spanish horror film set in Catalonia full of thrills , suspense , chills and creepy twists and turns . ¨Painless¨ weaves two stories , the one in current days, in which an expert neurosurgeon , well played by Alex Brendemhul , discovers that he has a tumour and start searching for his biological parents to get a bone marrow transplant necessary for his survival and on the other hand an asylum run by two doctors , finely performed by Derek De Lint and Ramon Fontserè , as they attempt to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, by teaching them physical suffering . This scary , bizarre film contains tension , thriller drama , mystery , plot twists and shocks , including decent scares with tense terror sequences especially in its final part , in a creepy denouement . A Spanish-French co-production with a timeline that spans decades the film is a thriller that begins in the days of the Spanish Civil War and goes on through until the current day . ¨Painless¨ or ¨Insensibles¨ suffers from some sputtering about a quarter of the way in , the sputtering came from a complete change in story direction, away from the spectacular beginning and toward a very complex story line , one which suffers from some slow-moving scenes . Interesting screenplay by the same director revolving the mental disintegration of a neurosurgeon and the various amazing surprises he finds . The motion picture is pretty well , although sometimes deliberate pacing and packs a lot of turns ; however is entertaining for continuous suspense and unsettling atmosphere . The picture is thrilling and some moment brilliant, and the players are quite reliable . Ghastly movie builds taut by showing virtually well staged set pieces , evocative settings , adequate soundtrack and rousing cinematography . Few disagree that the film is professionally mounted , the performances solid , and that it respectfully carries on the tradition of Spanish "horror" films like The Devil's Backbone , Pan's Labyrinth , Eskalofrio and The Orphanage , borrowing several elements here and there . Colorful cinematography by Alejandro Martinez showing splendidly mountains , sanatorium , and villages from Pyrenees , Montserrat , Catalonia , Spain , Spain . Alejandro Martínez is one of the best Spanish cameramen with international career as he has demonstrated in "Automat¨, ¨Wen¨, ¨Stay alive¨, ¨Hierro¨, ¨First Born¨, ¨Blackout¨, among others . Eerie as well as frightening musical score by Johan Söderqvist who has composed for successful films as ¨Let the right one in¨ , ¨Bron¨, ¨In a better world¨, ¨After the wedding¨, "King of Devil's Island" and ¨Kon-Tiki¨ .

This is a motion picture displaying genuine chills , suspense, mystery and dark atmosphere and twisted finale , being skillfully proceeded by Juan Carlos Medina and turned out to one of the most unusual Spanish thrilling movies of 2010 and certainly one of the most unsettling . Juan Carlos Medina is a good director and writer, known for ¨Painless¨ , his only and most successful film , he previously directed shorts . ¨Insensibles¨ premiered in CinEuphoria Awards : Best Costume , Design , Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects Best Editing and best filmmaker . Furthermore , in Sitges , Catalonian International Film Festival 2012 was Nominated Best Motion Picture . Juan Carlos Medina is set to direct the crime-thriller "Dan Leno and The Limehouse Golem" , the story follows a Jack the Ripper-style serial killer nicknamed the Limehouse Golem.
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ghost story without a ghost..
rockenkay9 September 2014
I loved this mystery.. Dark and heartfelt terror fill the story..

Old fashioned ghost story without a ghost..

I'm a movie freak and this foreign flick fulfilled everything I enjoy.. The subtitles are easy and the story doesn't really need words anyway..

Simple and well acted but with a very squeamish subject; children and (Spanish War)torture..

The story splits between two worlds and I loved being led down the dark corridors of my imagination trying to suss out the riddle that's laid out from the beginning.. I'm sure to see this again just to watch the beauty hidden between the atrocities of war playing out.. If all you've known is suffering, beauty becomes a precious balance to cruelty.

If you can't stomach fingernails being pulled off, blood, the ripping of flesh, AND torture, it's the wrong movie for you.. And if you're looking for a movie like Saw and believe this is one of those movies, wrong again.. It's not for you.. It has a very Guiermo Del Toro feel to it but it has it's own unique attitude, I mean if you have sympathy for evil, this one will bring it out.. And like Del Toro's scripts, the guy you're afraid of through the whole thing will have you crying for him by the end..
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Without feeling
kosmasp13 September 2013
The movie is not so much a horror flick, than it is a thriller. Many filmmakers say that, because they don't want to be associated with horror, but in this case I haven't seen any interview with the director, so it's my statement to the movie. You could also call it mystery I suppose.

Of course the movie has two time-lines and you will be able to figure out quickly, which is playing at the moment. It might not be clear from the get go (the connection that is), but you might be able to figure out where this is going way before the final conclusion/confrontation comes knocking. I was expecting a bit more, but the film is still able to reach to you if you let it. And once again, kids can be creepy too ...
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Insensibles (Painless Review)
alexandermart911 May 2013
Since there was no relevant review about this movie I decided to watch it and do it myself.

"Painless", this is a 2012 film directed by Juan Carlos Medina, this is the type of movie that tells two different stories in two different times and ultimately everything is related (such as Vantage Point).

The first part tells the story of children who cannot feel any pain, especially one called "Benigno", who is a child that stands out from others for having "something very special" and focuses on the years of the 1,930's at the height of the Spanish Civil war, though the trailer may give the impression that this is a movie where there are rituals, Satan and witchcraft (at least that was my impression), after seeing the movie you realizes that the title has a deeper meaning.

And the other part it tells the story of "David" a man suffering from leukemia and needs a transplant of... "something" that only his parents can give him, and when he does he start to revealing the dark past of his family, this part focuses more or less in the year ... 2012?

I gotta admit that there were parts where I was "lost" because this movie is ... well not completely but there are parts where they speak 3 languages​​: Spanish, German and I think Catalan. And although I have no problem with it, because as any fan of the movies I see movies in their original language (even if I do not understand a freaking thing), you can always activate subtitles. Overall the film is filmed very well there is suspense, and there are moments of "what's gonna happen?". I liked to film, though I "shut down" almost at the end of the movie, but I gained strength at the end when "Berkano" appeared, if you want to know what's that you gotta see the movie. I am surprised that it doesn't appeared in Wikipedia or Rotten Tomatoes. This movie reminded me of Guillermo del Toro's "The Devil's Backbone".
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mario_c3 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was expecting a lot from this film, as the premise is very good: Back to the 30's, in a small town in Catalonia, a group of children are not sensible to pain. This strong premise is very promising but from the start we understand that a mixed and confusing story is coming... It begins with two plots which are continually crossing each other during the film: the one referred about the kids, initially set in the 30's, and other one set nowadays about a medical doctor which loses his wife and at the same time discovers he has a cancer. It's clear these two plots are related but the way they constantly cross along the movie is a bit confusing and boring.

(spoiler) But the worst for me was to discover that this nice and promising theme (of the insensible children) was just a pretext to a (banal!) story of a son searching his own past to find his unknown mother and father… A good thematic was completely spoiled here in my perspective! (end spoiler)

However not everything is bad here! The dark atmosphere created is very good and the monastery chosen as setting is really creepy! But generally this movie defrauded my expectation, mostly because of the plot's disclosures and its ending…
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Painless and Emotionless
claudio_carvalho24 April 2015
In the 30's, a group of children that feel no pain are sent to an asylum to be locked in individual cells to avoid hurting other people and themselves. They stay there along the Spanish Civil War and Second World War. The prominent German Dr. Holzmann (Derek de Lint) tries to rehabilitate the children and has conflicts with the Director Dr. Carcedo (Ramon Fontserè). Dr. Holzmann is fascinated by the boy Benigno, who is the smartest of the group and a survivor.

In the present days, David (Àlex Brendemühl) has a car accident where his wife Anaïs (Irene Montalà) dies and their premature baby survives. He discovers that he has a severe cancer and he needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. He visits his parents and he learns that they are not his biological parents. David seeks out his biological parents and discovers dark secrets from his past.

"Insensibles", a.k.a. "Painless", is a gloomy drama with a promising beginning. However, the narrative is cold, developed in and slow pace and without emotion. The poor development of characters makes the plot confused and boring in some moments. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Insensíveis" ("Insensible")
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Interesting and atmospheric
borgolarici6 June 2019
This could have been an ok horror movie but the historical settings improves it a lot and adds a gloomy feeling to an already dark story.

It's an interesting take on the themes of diversity, political violence and family roots.
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Fantasy as metaphor?
stevelomas-694012 January 2019
Can this film decide what it wants to be? Is it a n unsubtle metaphor for Spanish denial of the atrocities committed during the civil war or is it a dubiously plotted horror? Whichever it is facial gymnastics abound in what amounts to a fantasy (we are asked to suspend so much disbelief) as disposable women swiftly march through the narrative.
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Weak and emotionless narrative
theskykidcom17 May 2013
The trailer was excellent and the first 20 or so minutes .

Yet the storytelling is far from being perfect - no emotional connection can be established with any of the personages and the only good acting performances were the ones of the children.

Although the cinematography was not bad the film would potentially bore its viewers .

The film is extremely slow paced as well and since the character development is pretty much not existent one could hardly appreciate the story.

The cover art is very misleading as well - as one may come to the conclusion that the film would offer a coming-of-age narrative .
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