The Spaniards have long practiced shooting supernatural thrillers, and one of the solid offshoots of that subgenre was shot by debutant Ignacio Tatay. He also wrote the screenplay for “Jaula” or “The Chalk Line” together with Isabel Pena, a constant screenwriting collaborator of one of the best Spanish filmmakers of the younger generation, Rodrigo Sorogoyen (El reino, Madre, Antidisturbios, As bestas). Paula (Elena Anaya) and Simon (Pablo Molinero) are a couple in their early forties who are unable to conceive a child, and one evening, while returning home to one of those typical suburbs where members of the upper middle class live, they barely avoid a traffic accident .
On the road they will find a lost girl, a blonde six-year-old who goes by the name of Clara, and when they take her to the hospital and report what happened to the police, it will turn out that the little girl does not match the description of any girl that Interpol is looking for in Europe. Paula’s maternal instincts will quickly develop and they will adopt the little one until it is determined who she is and whose she is, and it will appear that she is suffering from some mysterious illness. The girl will completely refuse to communicate with everyone, and as soon as she moves from the square outlined in chalk, she will be terrified as if she is being chased by a monster. And as soon as Clara arrives at Paula and Simon’s house, some strange and dark things will begin to happen there, and after the little girl disappears one day, Paula will try to find out what happened to her.
She will become completely obsessed with the little girl and will start her own investigation to find out not only where she disappeared again, but also who she is and where she came from, and the film is the one that hides many surprises. And “The Chalk Line” turned out to be a film beyond expectations, an insidious supernatural thriller that managed to avoid falling into those standard, stereotypical situations, and the development of events and the resolution here are completely unexpected. Anaya is also solid as a woman who wanted to have a child at all costs, and the search for a blonde girl who will suddenly appear in her life and disappear even faster will turn out to be a new obsession for her.