Los Angeles, CA (September 25, 2018) – ROCK SALT RELEASING –.“Escolano’s tale is dark and tragic, highlighting how this ‘Mother’ extinguishes all the inner light from within each of her disciples to achieve a level of dominance and suffering,” wrote Morbidly Beautiful.
As one of Fantastic Fest’s only female-directed films, writer-director Sonia Escolano’s (The Vampire in the Hole, Myna Has Gone, Cinq minutes) elevated Spanish horror, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS (aka Casa de sudor y Lágrimas), is an intelligent film that challenges perceptions while deeply exploring the murky waters of religion, faith, belief, rebellion and power – all with limited dialogue.
Based upon a real cult operating in Spain during the 1990s and the tale of Amparo Cuevas and “She” – a Spanish woman from El Escorial, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS follows a religious cult operating under strict coexistence rules of “She”, who violently inflicts methods of ultimate control and power of her followers. Writer-Director, Sonia Escolano, forces the audience to think, question, and deeply discuss ways of ultimate power and control. Psychologically vicious, “She” asserts such power by invoking pain as a sign of unwavering loyalty and devotion,humiliating others, and creating a stressful, dark environment.
“Glimpses of who some of these people were before the cult are layered throughout the film – and at times offer a refreshing sense of what remains true. Most are so far gone, so wrapped up in what “She” demands, that they have lost their sense of individualism and rationality. We see that some were lost to begin with, while others joined to find a community of love and acceptance,” continued Morbidly Beautiful.
But, when a dark, mysterious man appears, he offers a different kind of life – one without pain. As the power struggle fiercely ensues, will “She” be able to maintain control of the cult? Or will the mysterious outsider’s arrival set her followers onto a different path, leading to the flock leader’s ultimate destruction?
“HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS is a beautifully acted and directed film, with the bulk of emotions emerging from facial expressions, body language, cinematography (Pepe de la Rosa), along with an unnerving and complimenting score (Carlos Ruiz, Javier Angel Morillo), ” reviewed Morbidly Beautiful.
Shot entirely with candlelight and zero artificial light, Sonia Escolano’s ominous and atmospheric horror places the viewer in the middle of a mysterious and unfamiliar world, creating a sense of unshakeable uneasiness and discomfort. “Claustrophobic dread drips through the narrow halls and dim candlelit rooms of the HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS while moments of brutal intensity are captured by cinematographer Pepe de la Rosa’s unforgiving close up frames. Director Sonia Escolano’s atmospheric horror show sneaks up on you and leaves you gripping your chest by its shocking conclusion,” reviewed Gruesome Magazine.
The elevated, Spanish horror received a whirlwind of astonishing review for its first World Premiere screening in Austin, TX for Fantastic Fest last Friday, September 21st, and will have its second and final screening this Wednesday, September 26th at 11:00 A.M with Sonia Escolano in attendance. “Sonia Escolano’s feature debut is thoughtful and brilliant in its artful execution, a finely crafted film that will hopefully lead to much more work from this talented filmmaker,” concluded Morbidly Beautiful.
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Produced in Spain by Sonia Escolano and Francisco Javier González from Sudo y lágrimas Films and with representation from ROCK SALT RELEASING, HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS is accompanied by stellar cinematography by Pepe De La Rose (Hubo un lugar) and stars Eudald Font (The Hunter’s Prayer, I Love Her), Pablo Suárez (De Agua y Fuego, Cold Skin, Realive), actress and producer, Haydée Lysander (Black Hollow Cage, Cinq minutes) and Alzira Gómez (Adeu, Barcelona, Salvacion). The film’s fantastic cast includes Paula Mateu, Padi Padilla, Pablo Macho and Coline Charvin. Watch the trailer for HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS here: https://vimeo.com/263248228.
HOUSE OF SWEAT AND TEARS (2018, 104 min.) Written and Directed by Sonia Escolano. Edited by: Rubén Domínguez. Produced by: Sonia Escolano, Paco González. Cinematographer: Pepe De La Rosa. Original sounds by: Roberto H.G., Javier Ángel Morillo, Aarón J. Pozo and Carlos Ruiz. Spain; Spanish, French. Sudo y lágrimas Films SL, ROCK SALT RELEASING, TriCoast Worldwide.
Producers: Sonia Escolano, Francisco Javier González –Sudo y lágrimas Films SL.
ROCK SALT RELEASING: Daisy Hamilton and Dean Fernando. About TriCoast Worldwide: TriCoast Worldwide is a premium international sales agent, representing the best of US and international films at all the major film markets. Sister company to TriCoast Entertainment and TriCoast Studios, the company is located at the Studio facility in Culver City, Los Angeles. Founded by: Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton.
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