• Golden Globe Awards

Presencias (Mexico)

Victor (Alberto Ammann), a famous actor, will have to face his past when he returns to the old cabin that belonged to his father. The property is a place that brings him mixed feelings.
On the one hand, Victor had some very happy times at the cabin when he was just a child. But the place also harbors echoes of a big personal tragedy: he witnessed his younger sister drowning in the lake, despite his attempts to rescue her.
The return to the cabin with Alicia, his beloved wife, fills him with memories of pain. He becomes afflicted with vivid nightmares. The first night in the house, during a strong storm, Victor prepares a romantic evening with Alicia. She, in turn, plans to present Victor with a beautiful surprise that will change their lives. But, when she is ready to do so, they are brutally attacked by something or someone.
When Victor wakes up in a hospital, he is notified that his wife lost her life in the attack, as well as the child she was carrying. Determined not to rest until he knows who killed the love of his life and his son, Victor decides to investigate on his own. He is helped only by his brother Manolo (Daniel Mandoki), and by Paulina (Yalitza Aparicio), a woman who runs a small-town store. In the process, he begins to experience intense nightmares that gradually turn into supernatural presences.
Presencias marks the return of acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mandoki (Gaby: A True Story, When a Man loves a Woman, Message in a Bottle). This new work features an all-star cast led by Alberto Ammann – the Argentinian actor known for his work in productions such as Narcos: Mexico, The Longest Night, and Cell 211 – and Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio. This is Mandoki´s first foray into the horror genre.
In an interview with El Sol de México, Mandoki acknowledged that “making drama is much easier because horror requires a lot of study and preparation; you have to think too much about the rhythm, how much is shown, how to move the camera, as well as how to handle music and sound.”
Shot in Tlalpujahua, one of the “Pueblos Mágicos de Michoacan” and a region that evokes an era dominated by mysticism, Presencias captures the beautiful, wooded landscapes that help create gloomy atmospheres so vital to the narrative. These moody compositions come with the signature of French cinematographer Philip Lozano.
Mandoki explained that it was not his intention to make a direct homage to a specific horror film or director in the genre. But he admits that he drew on several cinematic and literary works that have shaped him as a filmmaker. “All of them remained in my subconscious when creating this universe. I was terrified of making horror because I didn´t know if people would be scared,” he confessed.