Welcome to 31 Days of Streaming Horror. Every day this October we’ll be highlighting a different streaming horror movie to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Today’s entry: Most Beautiful Island(2017).
Most Beautiful Island
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Shudder, and Kanopy
Sub-Genre: Skin-crawling auteur indie horror
Best Setting to Watch It In: In the tub
How Scary Is It?: You’re going to be severely creeped out and disturbed
In a better world, Hollywood would be throwing money at Ana Asensio‘s feet by now. Asensio made her feature directorial debut with Most Beautiful Island – a film she also wrote, produced, and stars in. She’s a true auteur, commanding the screen both behind and in front of the camera, and what a killer debut this is. It signals Asensio as a brave, bold voice in indie horror, and I want to see more from her. Lots more. As soon as possible.
In Most Beautiful Island, Asensio plays Luciana, an undocumented immigrant from Spain trying to survive in New York City. She works odd, thankless jobs – handing out fliers while wearing a chicken mask during the early morning, babysitting spoiled rich kids in the afternoon. She wants the American dream, but all she’s getting is a filthy run-down apartment with gargantuan cockroaches spilling out of the wall.
During the course of one long day, an acquaintance, another immigrant, clues Luciana into a highly lucrative gig. The details are sketchy and vague, and seem almost too good to be true. The only requirement is for Luciana to slip into a sexy dress, and head off to the wrong part of town as the sun sinks behind all of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. Once at her destination, Luciana gets drawn into a game of sorts. I won’t spoil the details, because that would ruin the dark, twisted fun, Let’s just say it involves a scenario tailor-made to make your skin crawl.
Asensio blends a stark indie drama style with sleek, chilling horror, resulting in a movie that’s simple and complex in one breath. There’s a fever-dream quality to everything here, almost as if we keep waiting for Luciana to wake up, sweaty and confused in her bug-infested apartment. But, to quote another film about the dark side of New York, Rosemary’s Baby, this is no dream – this is really happening.
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