REVIEW: A Strong Premise and Middling Delivery in ‘The Wrath of God

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The Wrath of God - But Why Tho

The Wrath of God (Las Ira del Dios) is a Spanish-language, Argentinian Netflix Original thriller directed by Sebastián Schindel based on the novel by Guillermo Martínez. When a Kloster (Diego Peretti) famous writer’s assistant, Luciana (Macarena Achaga) reports his assault of her, suddenly, her family begins being killed one by one. She is convinced Kloster is behind all of their deaths, and reporter Esteban (Juan Minujín) is the only one who somewhat believes her, including her own family.

The idea here is great. The first half of the movie flashes back and forth between the present and twelve years prior to when everything began. I’m not entirely keen on the pacing, as somehow the story manages to feel like it’s moving too fast to keep up with at first and too slow to draw any real interest. Yet, the movie is so certain of itself at least that this method has its intended effect of setting up the characters over time rather than dumping a load of exposition on the audience all in one scene.

The issue though, is that there is virtually no room for suspense here. It’s quite clear based on some very obvious changes in the camera angle that Kloster is a predator and that he is remorseless of the tragedies that befall them both. And while I rarely questioned Luciana in the first place or expected her to be an unreliable narrator, when the viewer becomes privy to some dramatic irony that nobody on screen ever sees, all doubt completely receded. Without suspense in the story, wondering whether Kloster really is the killer or not, The Warth of God just feels more like a dull drama than a thriller.

The cast surely does its best with the material, but the characters are meant to be somewhat mute and unreadable, so they’re not left with much room for offering especially interesting performances. Luciana’s grief and her response to it tends to offer the most dynamism, but it’s really not very much to go off of, honestly.

One aspect of the movie that does shine is the visual side of things. The movie sets an eery ambiance with constant storms and downpours to blanket the scenery in darkness and despair. The costuming is pretty nice as well. The many funeral scenes with their cremations have this fiery refrain that always looks just a bit too computer-generated. But, the visual itself is at least striking if you don’t think about it too hard.

The Wrath of God is fine. It’s not doing anything offensive or unsettling, but its pacing and lack of suspense just don’t leave much to behold. It’s a cool story and there’s a feeling you want to reach for of solving a mystery and inviting justice, but there just isn’t actually much of a mystery to solve and little chance the movie seems interested in justice as much as it fixates on the notion of revenge—telling unto itself.

The Wrath of God is streaming now on Netflix.


The Wrath of God
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

The Wrath of God is fine. It’s not doing anything offensive or unsettling, but its pacing and lack of suspense just don’t leave much to behold. It’s a cool story and there’s a feeling you want to reach for of solving a mystery and inviting justice, but there just isn’t actually much of a mystery to solve and little chance the movie seems interested in justice as much as it fixates on the notion of revenge—telling unto itself.