A meteorite crashes on an isolated part of a mountain. Meanwhile, at a nearby town in the Mexican lowlands, a young couple in crisis struggles to find themselves but cannot avoid destroying each other in the process. Something out of this world will come to alter their lives.
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Possession + Japanese hentai (tentacular erotica) + Under the Skin + David Cronenberg. With lots of Mexican spices.The English title is vaguely abominable: they should have kept the original, LA REGIÓN SALVAJE. All things considered, The Untamed is an unforgettable cinematic experience.
Despite the bold sex scenes, The Untamed occupies the same place as Under the Skin, another film that fails to arouse emotionally, and felt rather apathetic in its storytelling. As here, the dual storylines don't properly blossom or grip, nor do they compliment each other. Both films also should have used traditional storytelling techniques since their looseness renders them a fruitless attempt at intelligence.
There are kind of two movies going on here, neither fully fleshed-out, their coupling never quite solidified. THE UNTAMED never convinced me it needs to exist. I was very impressed w/ some aesthetic choices (and the phenomenal sound design). The closing credit 'in memoriam' shout-out to Żuławski makes sense; the movie cribs from POSSESSION. And everything that is impressive, clearly owes something to Carlos Reygadas.
If you take away all the references to popular culture you're really talking about dangerous masturbation. Like auto-erotic asphyxiation. And yet these people come back changed by something unnamed. Which puts it more in the category of a drug, and an addiction, and how that can spiral out of control.
Slippery and sly, The Untamed boasts some originality. In spite of that, the extra-sensorial extraterrestrial fiction that Escalante tries to sell becomes more subfusc than scary as the film moves forward. (2.5 stars)