La Zona (2007)

Thursday, April 24, 2008
La Zona is where the city's well-to-do live, protected from the common people in a special gated community. Encircled by a large concrete wall topped with barbed wire and security cameras, the Zone is an almost Orwellian utopia where the inhabitants can feel safe protected by a private security force, their homes and manicured lawns kept far away from the criminal element that inhabits the rest of the city . All major decisions are made by committee and even the police (most of whom are corrupt) on the outside need a warrant to enter. The Zone is impregnable. Or so they thought.

When a severe storm knocks over a billboard and breaks down part of the wall, two thieves and their teenage friend, Miguel, scale the wall and enter the Zone, hoping for a quick score. Unfortunately, the picked the house of an elderly woman who keeps a shotgun beside her bed and has better hearing than the bionic woman. She ends up getting killed during the robbery and the struggle awakens the neighbours, all of whom seem to carry guns. The two theives are killed trying to escape back out of the Zone, a security guard is accidentally shot by one of the neighbours, and Miguel is trapped and alone with no way out.

Rather than alerting the police and have their presence disrupt their peaceful community, the committee decides to dispose of the problem themselves. The three bodies are thrown into dumpsters, the mess cleaned up, and the police are fed an intricate web of lies. The committee begins combing the community to try and hunt down Miguel. Even the kids get in on the action. Alejandro, the son of one of the Zone's leading citizens, and his friends form their own posse thinking how cool it would be for them to catch the supposed killer. However, Alejandro happens upon Miguel hiding in his cellar. Rather than turning him in though, Alejandro begins feeds and clothes the young man after he begins to realize that what the inhabitants of the Zone are planning might not be the right course of action.

Alejandro videotapes Miguel's confession about what happened the night he entered the Zone in the hopes of getting a copy to the authorities on the outside before his father and the rest of the mob find him. But the unwillingness of one detective to give up on the case or accept a bribe pushes the committee harder to solve the problem before the police find a way in. Will Alejandro be able to help his new friend escape the Zone or will Miguel become another victim of vigilante justice?

The movie has a brutal albeit not so unexpected ending for many of the participants. It's certainly not one of your typical Hollywood happy endings but that's far from being a detraction. There couldn't be any other way to end this film and have it succeed. Not a great film but pretty darn good. Check the foreign film section of your local video store. Captain Recommended.

Spanish with English Subtitles
84 Minutes


SME said...

Sounds pretty good. Reminds me a little of J.G. Ballard's novel "Running Wild", which is one of my faves. Thanks for the review!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'm definitely looking this one up. Thanks for the review.

Gardenia said...

Sounds great to me~

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