Gilbert Speaks on Spanish Thrill ‘The Chalk Line’

I absolutely love foreign films, and I’ve seen so many good ones on Netflix. The latest is a thriller called The Chalk Line (Spanish: Jaula, which translates to cage). When a couple find a young child wandering a deserted highway at night, they soon realize that they are dealing with one of the worst kind of nightmares.

The Chalk Line

The Chalk Line is a 2022 Spanish thriller that was directed by Ignacio Tatay, and stars Elena Anaya, Pablo Molinero, Eva Llorach Carlos Santos, Esther Acebo, Eloy Azorin, and the amazing Eva Tennear as Clara. The film is loosely based on a horrific true case. The Chalk Line begins with a married couple, Paula (Elena Anaya) and Simon (Pablo Molinero) driving home late at night when they spot a six-year-old girl stumbling into the path of a motorcycle. Luckily the bike misses the girl, but when the girl is taken to the hospital, the doctors learn that the child is very sick. Not only is the child very sick, but she doesn’t speak. As she heals, she behaves aggressively towards the doctors and nurses until it is realized that she feels safest when she is sitting within a small circle mapped out with chalk.

Unable to have children of their own even though they have spent years on expensive treatments, Paula and Simon decide to bring the girl home until her parents can be found. The police are busy searching the many cases of missing children in hopes of learning the child’s identity. They rearrange their home in order to draw the chalk lines for Clara (Eva Tennear) to feel comfortable enough to explore the house. One day, while a doctor with Child Services is visiting the home, Clara shouts out some words. Clara is speaking German. The police now have a clue.

Paula, who is secretly injecting herself with fertility drugs, and Simon are growing closer with the child. Clara is now forming a bond with Paula and even makes little paper angels for Paula. Everything is going well, and even the couple’s neighbours offer advice and playdates for the child…but this is when things go belly up for the poor couple. Is Clara evil? After two incidents where glass was found in the jam and later the milk which caused Paula’s pregnant neighbor to be rushed to the hospital, and later almost killed Paula…the child vanishes.

Paula, who is convinced that there is a connection between Clara and the dark side of human trafficking, begins her own investigation in one of the cases of missing children after seeing a photo of a dead girl in the police files. What startles Paula is the paper angel found by the body of the dead teenager. Does Clara know this girl? Is Clara a victim of human trafficking?

Conclusion with Spoilers

Like I mentioned in the beginning of this review is that I love foreign films. One of the reasons that I do is that they don’t sugarcoat their films. It is what it is. The police think that Clara ran away after Paula almost choked on the glass and they don’t believe that someone took Clara. Paula is shocked that even Simon is convinced that the child just ran away. Thankfully, Paula believes in Clara.

Paula steals the case files of missing children and realizes that Clara is the daughter of one of the missing children…this revelation plus the clues left by little Clara sends Paula to the home of one of her neighbours. When Paula goes to the house with the pretense of borrowing a map, she is taken prisoner. I won’t tell you any more than this, but let’s just say that this is a thriller that will have you screaming at the top of your lungs until the last scene.

The Chalk Line is a timely film especially with the cases of missing children rising. No one is above suspicion when a child goes missing…even your closest neighbuor can be a monster. A monster that can hide behind a façade of normalcy.

Watch the film, it is the best that I have seen in a long while, and don’t worry even though the trailer is in Spanish, the film is in English. I suggest that you start getting into the habit of watching foreign films. They are amazing.

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