THE REPLACEMENT by Óscar Aibar
THE REPLACEMENT by Óscar Aibar (whose THE FOREST already delighted us at the BIFFF 2013) paints a desolately grim picture of Spain around the early 80’s. The odd poster bearing the likeness of recently instated King Juan Carlos may occasionally appear in the background. And once or twice there’s even mention of the peculiarly new word “democracy”. But the dark shadow of the Franco dictatorship still looms large over society. When we’re introduced to a closed community of German expats, even the most gullible of spectators realizes that something isn’t right. We’re not talking about Nazi zombies, nor Nazis that are about to attack the Earth from the dark side of the moon, oh no! Our jolly band of knee-slapping, beer-swilling Aryans are simply the real thing! Andrés Expósito is a young cop, who’s transferred from Madrid’s rough underbelly to the sleepy coastal town of Dénia, to replace a deceased colleague. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that the man was actually murdered and that our innocent-looking, though pretty unheimlich club of swastika swingers may have something to do with it… Even though our protagonist is the silent type, Aibar succeeds in presenting his observations in such a penetrating manner that the audience isn’t left in the dark about what is going on behind Dénia’s sunny façade. THE REPLACEMENT is an ode to the paranoid thrillers of the 70’s, overflowing with moral outrage.