Halley: Sundance Review

A filmic gunk fixating on a man’s dying days, oozing with gruesome visuals and a gagging finale.

Sebastian Hoffman's film fixates on a man’s dying days.

PARK CITY - Alberto is full of scabs and too lifeless to continue his job as a gymnasium guard. That Albert’s body is punctured by grotesque abrasions is painstakingly revealed in this peculiar monstrosity from Mexico.

In the traditional narrative sense, there’s not much story arc to Halley, other than the to-work-and-back meanderings of this bony guy. Alberto is a walking death-rattle. His days are joyless and antiseptic, indicative of the bile in filmmaker Sebastian Hoffman’s putrid message. 

Aesthetically, Hofmann has jabbed his film at the detritus of bodily functions: infections, bloody sputum and wads of other delectations. Compounding these bodily gross-outs, Hoffmann has drenched the film with accompanying tonal annoyances: insect buzzing, metal scrapings and human grunting.  Oh, and it’s topped off with, no excesses spared, a castration.

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That the film’s world-view is not a happy one is further buttressed when Alberto’s female boss drags him out on the town. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t get much action from her nearly comatose companion.  After a night of rejection, she drinks herself into a stupor, face down and alone on her couch.

Eventually, this gruel swirls into the foam of a cruel and stormy sea, which indicates that it’s either “deep” or that clips from another movie were mistakenly edited into it. 

Cast: Alberto Trujillo, Lourdes Trueba, Hugo Albores

Production companies: Mantarraya Prods., Piano, Simplemente

Director: Sebastian Hofmann (cq)

Screenwriters: Sebastian Hoffman, Julio Chavezmontes

Producers: Julio Chavezmontges, Jaime Romandia

Director of photography: Matias Penachino

Editor: Sebastian Hofmann

No rating, 84 minutes.