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THE WELDER (2021)
Directed by David Liz.
Written by David Liz, Manuel Delgadillo.
Starring Camila Rodríguez, Vincent De Paul, Roe Dunkley, Crist Moward, Anthony Vazquez, Jorge Picó
Roe (Roe Dunkley) and his girlfriend Eliza (Camila Rodríguez) are stressed out from living in the city and decide to take a vacation in the countryside to relax. Unfortunately, they choose the villa owned by William Godwin (Vincent De Paul) who at first seems like an eccentric, but soon reveals his twisted plan to conquer racial divisiveness. Having lost his wife in an accident years ago, Godwin has been conducting experiments on people who stay at his rental home which doesn’t bode well for Roe and Eliza.
THE WELDER starts out promising. The scenery and camerawork make the film look like a big budgeter and there’s a decent sense of suspense and horror in the air from the first minute of the film.
That said, though the script isn’t the main problem, it does jump from plausible to kookaburra awfully quick when Godwin is introduced. No couple in their right mind would stay at this place they end up in, yet Roe and Eliza do because, if they leave there’s no movie. So despite how crazy things get, the only reason these two stick around is to steal about an hour and a half of your precious time. It doesn’t help that there is some very rough acting going on. I am not sure if it’s the script that just doesn’t feel natural coming from these actors mouths or the actors inability to communicate the script well, but either way, both get worse as the story goes on. There’s supposed to be some kind of bond formed between Godwin and Eliza that never gels and Roe and Eliza seem mismatched from the get go, so no one feels comfortable around one another.
The grand plan of Godwin to weld skin together and make the difference in skin color is utterly ridiculous and even if you could weld flesh together, the outcome isn’t really the solution Godwin brags about. By the end, it feels everyone just wants to get things over with and so did I. There’s no real sensible reason for the characters to do what they do in the end, but there they are doing it anyway. Like Godwin’s plan, the intentions seem to be good. It would be great to get rid of racial differences. But this film offers nothing but a messy resolution that fails to serve any one of these characters well, and that means the viewer too. There’s an effective scene involving a manservant’s arm that is interesting, but even that isn’t enough to save the movie. It feels like the director had some grand aspirations to make some kind of low budget GET OUT that speaks volumes about conflict between the races, but sadly none of it translated into the film itself.