The Fostering is a first feature from directors Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Vescio and the first credit of many of the cast, so I would have given it the benefit of the doubt. It turns out no benefit of the doubt was necessary. The Fostering is a strongly crafted and perform descent into horror.

Ale (Mariana Cortines) and Magu (Clara Verdier) join their friend Jorge (Diego Goullart) in visiting their friend Apolo (Pedro Carvalho) at his house. Apolo has made a pentagram shrine in the basement to the nail involved in killing of a legendary murderer. Unbeknownst to his visitors, Apolo is trying to raise the spirits of the dead.

Ale is immediately sympathetic because she is having freaky visions, and she takes pills to deal with her real life visions, but so imagine how much harder the real thing is to deal with. She becomes our hero rising up against her own demons and the real demons. Cortines should have a long career.

Gasparini, Vescio and Carvalho are effective at telling the mythology, what begins as a scary campfire tale that sets up the terror these foolish kids will unleash. It’s not your usual murder legend. The cast plays up the intensity and can switch on a dime to “just kidding.” Real people tend not to be that convincing when they fuck around, so this is A list acting.

When the real threat descends, they are effective at playing fear, not like some of the first time actors I’m sure we’ve all seen doing their best. When it really hits the fan, we get to see dollies through the house that would make Sam Raimi proud. There is a good amount of strobing and quick cuts, but they are all deliberate, never cheap.

Gasparini and Vescio did the short “M is for Mailbox” which would have been part of the open director call for ABCs of Death 2. It looks like ABCs of Death is releasing a compilation with a bunch of unused “M” shorts. They’ve certainly made good on a feature and I expect to see many more films from their imaginations.

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