Trauma tells the story of four women who go to a vacation home in rural Chile then all hell breaks loose. This film has been compared to A Serbian Film and the comparisons are well earned. This is pretty much a rape revenge flick, heavy on the rape with extra revenge.
Okay, let’s talk about the Serbian Film comparisons. It’s a super fucked up movie chock full of depraved sexual violence. There’s a fair amount of regular violence too. That’s not where the comparisons stop though. It’s a really well put together film for the most part; the cinematography is almost too good at times and that goes double for the acting. The fear, agony, and brokenness all come through all too clearly and so does the sadistic joy that the assailants get out of the shit their doing. Even with the super dark moments that we’re shown literally from the opening scene, Trauma is a truly interesting story. The film takes several breaks to build suspense and develop the plot. The really disturbing shit is packed into a handful of scenes but the rest of the movie doesn’t feel like a vehicle for the vile acts. There’s even a political subtext going on like A Serbian Film. This film just didn’t have anybody fucking a baby to death which was nice. I was all but convinced that was going to happen. So, does this film live up to its comparison with one of the most popularly depraved films in recent history? Yeah. I think it does.
I don’t know why I expected this to be a total bloodbath but it wasn’t and that’s okay. Trauma has a mixture of CGI and practical effects makeup. The digital stuff is pretty well done, if a little unnecessary at times but the practical effects are really on point. The practical effects are good enough to make up for the places where I thought the digital stuff could’ve been left out. Overall, this movie looks really nice from start to finish. There are even some scenes in this movie that I would say were beautiful.
Trauma contains the most violent rape scenes I’ve witnessed and on a scale of one to ten: one being “the time Spike tried to rape Buffy” and 10 being “the family scene from A Serbian Film” this movie is a solid 9. I’m not going to give away the ending but I will say that the payoff, If you can call it that, is pretty nice you’ve just got to wait for it. I will say that the ending is still pretty fucking depressing.
Other than being a revenge film with a political message, this movie looks at trauma and how it can really fuck someone up. The film opens on the antagonist as a boy being forced to rape his mother which at some point becomes his mother’s corpse. In the space of that one scene you see the boy inside him die and witness the birth of the monster that he would become. He perpetuated this cycle of trauma onto his son/lover. We see in him a ruthless, subservient, fledgling monster molded by his father.
So, all in all, would I recommend this movie? Only to extreme horror fans. If you made it through A Serbian Film and want to have a similar experience, go for it. Traumawill be coming to blu ray and DVD October 23rd but will not see a digital release. Artsploitation, the distributor of Trauma fear that this movie would get them banned from digital markets. They’re probably not wrong. This movie is a crazy, fucked up rape onion and it’s ultimately up to you if you want to peel back the layers.