The debut feature from Spanish wunderkind Alejandro Amenábar (Open Your Eyes, The Others), Tesis is a thriller starring Ana Torrent as Ángela Márquez, a film student who, while researching for a thesis paper on violence in cinema, stumbles upon a snuff film featuring the murder of a former student at the university. Enlisting the help of classmate and violent-movie buff Chema (Fele Martínez), Angela begins an investigation into the crime that leads them to several suspects. One of them is Bosco (Eduardo Noriega), a handsome classmate to whom Angela finds herself attracted, much to the chagrin of Cheme. Tesis was the recipient of seven awards at the 1997 Goya Awards including Best Film. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
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An, entertaining, thought provoking and
at times truly scary first film. Amenabar uses violence and fear as to explore deeper themes and psychology, in this case the way we are all drawn to violent images, even if we claim not to be. But these ideas stay pretty heady, and at times teeter on preachy, and obvious. The film is full of wonderfully clever visual and sound techniques, but at times I found I was thinking about the filmmaking technique and not the story. It also goes on too long. The first 75 minutes or so seemed downright brilliant, but when you drag a thriller out, more often then not the creakiness of the plot shows through. In the end there are a few twists too many for credibility, it crosses into, come on, she would have gone to the cops by nowÂ territory for the last half hour. Yet, even once it starts to feel silly, it could never be called dull, and the tension stays high. Last, the score is a little too obvious Bernard Herrman wanna be.