Hierro review

A mother desperately searches for her missing son on an eerie island

Rattling with the same maternal panic as The Orphanage, Gabe Ibáñez’s sensuous chiller can’t quite match its countrymate in the story department.

Technically unimpeachable, from the spooky sound design through to the gorgeously austere cinematography, and featuring a gutsy performance from Elena Anaya as a distraught mother whose child disappears while visiting the eponymous island, it’s padded and occasionally pretentious, like 2008’s similar Vinyan.

Taken as a mood piece, though, it’s a handsome example of technique over storytelling, particularly in the way Ibáñez and DP Alejandro Martínez use the barren, sand-blasted isle to evoke the desolate landscape of Anaya’s shattered mind.

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