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The Well

Fans of Italian horror and gorehounds will delight in the beautifully shot but grotesque “The Well” that’s both haunting and nightmarish.

The Well

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“When novice art restorer LISA GRAY (Lauren LaVera) goes to a small Italian village to bring a medieval painting back to its former glory after fire damage, little does she know she is placing her life in danger from an evil curse and a monster born of myth and brutal pain.”

The Well is an Italian-made horror film by musician turned genre filmmaker Federico Zampaglione, a man dubbed the “Italian Rob Zombie”.

The story starts with an art restorer traveling to a small Italian village to restore a damaged painting. Along the way, she meets other American travelers who mostly become the cannon fodder in the film.

The Well follows in the footsteps of the Italian greats that have come before it, showcasing luscious visuals of sprawling landscapes and mesmerizing architecture and interiors.

Stylistically, it fits in nicely amongst some of the most visually pleasing works of the likes of Argento, Bava, and Soavi.

The plot also plays out in the style of the classics of Italian horror, as the audience is not spoon-fed the story and is, at times, just along for the ride. This is not to say the film is style over substance because it delivers on all counts.

The cast is outstanding, with Lauren Lavera, fresh off Terrifier 2, really cementing herself as a new genre favorite.

Another comparison may be made between Zampaglione and Zombie regarding having family members as part of the cast. The Well features his ex-wife and their daughter, Claudia Gerini and Linda Zampaglione.

This is not just a simple show of nepotism. Both are fabulous on screen, with Gerini owning every scene she’s in, giving classic femme fatale vibes, and Zampaglione giving a solid performance that really ties the narrative together.

The late Giovanni Lombardo Radice is a notable cast member, sometimes credited as John Morghen. Radice has appeared in some of the most well-known Italian shockers, including City of the Living Dead and Cannibal Ferox, so his appearance in The Well will certainly please fans of the Italian classics.

The Well also goes down as Radice’s last film, as he died after filming his parts. It is a fitting end to a career in the genre, as it feels that he really went back to the roots of stylish Italian gore films with this film.

The score by Oran Loyfer adds so much, creating and building tension and atmosphere and engaging the audience with its deftness for eliciting different emotions throughout.

The Well is my first experience with Federico Zampaglione’s films, and I will wholeheartedly say it has made me an instant fan. To me, this is what horror is all about.

If you can check out The Well, I urge you to do so. It blew me away with its beautiful visuals and immersive music, paired with fantastical horrors and unflinching gore.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 5

The Well made its UK premiere at Fright Fest 2024. The film has already inked deals in 24 territories, and you should be able to catch it sometime this year. Follow the film on Instagram at @thewell_movie or Twitter/X at @thewell_movie for release updates.

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