The Bar (original title El bar) is a crazy horror comedy from Spain. Deadly thriller meets dark humor in this little gem out on Netflix now!
The Bar – or El bar which is the original Spanish title – is one of those little horror-comedy gems. The story isn’t insanely innovative or anything, but the characters are damn near perfect!
Because of the setting in a bar in the middle of Madrid, we get to meet various very different characters. And for the record, the bar in The Bar isn’t a bar in the traditional American (or even my native Danish) sense. It’s more of a diner or café of sorts.
The story begins in the middle of morning rush hour, which isn’t when people would usually go to a bar. But most of the people in this bar are there for a quick cup of coffee and a bite to eat on their way to work.
This particular morning in the bar is just like any other. The regular customers drop by and place their usual orders. And also, a few newbies drop by and try to fit in. Including the lead character Elena. Portrayed perfectly by Blanca Suárez.
All of their interactions are pretty entertaining in their own way, so you’ll be entertained from the very beginning.
My personal favorite detail is the tough love comments from the bar owner. She’s a woman who’s owned this bar for around 40 years and doesn’t take any crap from anyone.
A most violent death
The real story of The Bar begins when a customer leaves and is killed right outside the door. No one knows what happened and everyone already out in the street immediately disappears. A very natural reaction, of course, but what isn’t exactly natural is the fact that nothing else happens.
No police or ambulance show up. And when they turn on the news, there’s no mention of a man dying in the middle of morning rush hour in Madrid.
Obviously, it’s a bit of a “Who dunnit?”-story, but the focus is more on; Why isn’t anyone coming to help?
The story is a mystery and it has many interesting twists and turns. And also, a lot of theories. Basically, these brilliant characters are throwing theories around like I usually do myself. As more time passes without answers, the crazier the theories and paranoia become.
Álex de la Iglesia is a brilliant horror-comedy director
The Bar was directed by Álex de la Iglesia, who also directed the crazy 2013 Witching & Bitching (original title Las brujas de Zugarramurdi). His style has been compared to both Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, which is a valid enough comparison.
Especially earlier Peter Jackson movies. Unfortunately, Álex de la Iglesia still hasn’t had his big international breakthrough. Maybe this one could be a huge step in the right direction since it’s available on Netflix in most countries.
Álex de la Iglesia also co-wrote the script with Jorge Guerricaechevarría, who has become his steady writing partner.
The story and pace of The Bar is pretty near perfect. It’s just a tad too long for my liking.
However, all the actors are so brilliant in their portrayals that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single moment!
You can watch The Bar (El bar) on Netflix now!
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Writer: Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Álex de la Iglesia
Cast: Blanca Suárez, Mario Casas, Carmen Machi, Secun de la Rosa, Jaime Ordóñez, Terele Pávez
In bustling Madrid, a loud gunshot and two mysterious deaths trap a motley assortment of urbanites in a decrepit central bar. When paranoia and suspicion increases, the terrified regulars start turning on each other.