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31 Days of Halloween

’32 Malasana Street’ review: Haunted house story based on true events comes to Shudder

Based on true events.

Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.

Audiences will seemingly never get tired of horror movies “based on actual events”. There is something about watching a scary movie and telling a friend afterwards, “the scariest thing about the whole thing is it really happened”. It is not so much about the movie being good as it is about the idea that it actually occurred. This is one of those universal truths about horror.

Taking place in Madrid, 32 Malasana Street is a movie based on actual events. Set in the 1970s, the Olmedo family has decided to leave their small village for the bigger city. They find a beautiful fully furnished apartment at a great price. It all seems too good to be true. Before long, the family begins to learn maybe it was much too good.

It sounds like a typical horror movie because it is. There is nothing in the film that is going to surprise even the most casual haunted house film fan. But that does not necessarily mean it is bad. Especially when the movie is not necessarily trying to be groundbreaking. With the right scares and atmosphere, even the most standard scary movie can be fun.

Initially, 32 Malasana Street begins slowly. The audience knows what to expect – if not the suspiciously available apartment then some of the creepy paintings would provide a clue. The movie allows a tone to set in that keeps anyone watching wary of what is going to happen next. The film does a great job of setting the right mood for the type of movie.

Things escalate surprisingly quickly once the Olmedos have settled in. It is the type of thing to be expected from this type of movie. 32 Malasana Street has the jump scares and apparitions that fans of these types of movies have come to love. The flip side to focusing on scaring the audience is sometimes the characters are not as well developed as they could be.

This is definitely felt in the final act of 32 Malasana Street. The movie has been a pretty standard horror movie up until this point. As the film races towards the end, it becomes more of drama with social commentary. There are still some scares to be had, but some may find the things to be more frustrating than anything else.

32 Malasana Street premieres on Shudder on October 22.

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