What the Waters Left Behind – Argentina, 2017 – overview and reviews

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[Total: 4   Average: 3.3/5]

What the Waters Left Behind – original title: Los Olvidados (“The Forgotten”) – is a 2017 Argentine horror film written and directed by Luciano Onetti, Nicolás Onetti (AbrakadabraFrancesca; Sonno Profondo).


A group of young people take a trip to film a documentary about Epecuén, a seemingly abandoned tourist village that became submerged under ten meters of salt water in 1985 when an embankment broke. Thirty years later, the waters receded and Epecuén emerged, exposing a bleak and deserted landscape.

Ignoring the warnings, and after a brief tour, they get stranded in the real-life ruins. Contrary to what they thought, they begin to realise that they are really not alone…



What the Waters Left Behind is a solid eerie film about a documentary crew who travel into Epecuen to relive that fateful account through the eyes of one of their peers, Carla (Maurette). Her description of the dark waters which poured in from a destroyed dam is harrowing and heartbreaking as she explains escaping with some family members before the disaster escalated, leaving behind everything.

While part of the crew stays close to Carla as she treads lightly through a local cemetery amongst the ruins, a few others stay behind with the broken down van (why wouldn’t their van breakdown, right?) and give into unbridled lust. Again, why wouldn’t they give into unbridled lust to ease the monotony of an intentionally broken down van? Right?

All the while, there is something seedy lurking behind every corner and soon the entire group is fighting for their lives against backwoods mutant psychos, a la “U-Turn” style.

There are frequent glimpses of undertones pulled from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel and even The Devil’s Rejects which hold no complaints here. All those influences are justified in cascading this creepy little thriller into our upchuck reflex.

What the Waters Left Behind has a minor period of slow cranking scenes into the full premise of the film, but once there you are in for a gory jaunt. Hacking, mutilation, carnal mania and plot twists all fall into place while captivating the audience into cancelling any potential trips to the outlands of Argentina. Peru, anyone?

Meredith Brown, MOVIES & MANIA

Other reviews:

” …all of the villains are cannibals, ready to eat their new guests. It is just too bad that this interpretation did not include a grandpa, for the final course. The Onetti brothers have not really improved on this earlier material [The Texas Chain Saw Massacre], outside of some of the locations.” 28 Days Later Analysis

“Primarily benefiting from its highly original setting that is creepy alone in itself, and also from the fact that it doesn’t give away the direction it will go […] but sadly, morbid location aside, it’s just not particularly intriguing until it gets there, plus, all the characters are a bunch of flat stereotypes.” CineMarvellous!

“I commend Luciano and Nicolas Onetti for the fact they composed the score, directed and wrote, edited and produced the movie: However, if they put more effort into writing a decent script, the final product will be miles better than the overall pointless and disappointing end result we got.” Horror World & Reviews

” …with nothing interesting to say about anything, the sadism seems rather cheap and empty. It’s still not a bad horror movie though. Setting aside, it may not have an original bone in its proverbial bone collection to which every cannibal family devotes at least one room in their ramshackle house, but it accomplishes its objectives with style…” Terror Spective

Cast and characters:

  • Agustín Pardella … Diego
  • Damián Dreizik … Vasco
  • Victoria Maurette … Carla
  • Victorio D’Alessandro … Nacho
  • Paula Brasca … Erica
  • Paula Sartor … Vicky
  • Gustavo Garzón … Señor X
  • Chucho Fernandez … Chimango
  • German Baudino … Pervertido (credit only)
  • Mirta Busnelli … Abuela
  • Evan Leed … Tito
  • Tamara Garzón … Micaela Leiva
  • Nicolás Onetti … Joven 1
  • Luciano Onetti … Joven 2
  • Pablo Guisa Koestinger … Truck Driver

Technical details:

  • 98 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

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