OK, I’ll level with you – when you watch as many films as I do, and then go on to review some of them, occasionally you come up against a very peculiar problem.

The problem? Well, in very basic terms it is this – no matter how much you try and analyse a film, no matter how studiously you watch it, or no matter how much you try and dissect it after viewing, you just cannot get your head around it.

And that, ladies and gents, is where I am at with Forgiveness, a film I didn’t really understand while I was watching it, and I still have no clue a day later.

Now a critic friend of mine – who I respect and admire – insisted to me that it was about a trio of sex workers trapped in an imaginary ‘hospital of the mind’, but I was not picking up on that at all – although that may well down to be me simply not ‘getting it’.

So here’s what I do know – the film is chopped into ‘chapters’, complete with prologue and epilogue, which follow three women – Magnea, Aisha and Camila – each of whom wake up in a run-down, dimly-lit medical facility with no real idea how they got there – or why.

Even worse, the trio seem to be physically afflicted in some way, whether that be being mute, deaf or even blind.

Trying to piece together just what is happening to them, the three women stumble around the hospital corridors, hopping from one perilous situation to the next, coming across a gaggle of pantomime villains along the way.

There’s also some bloodshed, plenty of violence and no dialogue. Yep, you read that right, the first audible dialogue in the film comes with about five minutes remaining.

The performances are admittedly good – Jessica Ortiz, Alejandra Zaid and Alejandra Touissant have a thankless task as the aforementioned three ‘patients’ and do a really good job in selling the hysterical situation they are in, without the aid of dialogue to fall back on.

And writer/director Alex Kahuam has certainly come up with something unusual and different, even if some of it seems to be weird for weirdness sake.

Forgiveness just kind of drifts along really and will not be a film that lingers long in my memory, other than to try and figure out what the hell it was all about.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Forgiveness
2.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle