Undocumented is part cinema verite and part live action. And all too close for comfort. It's the type of film that makes you think 'Hey, this isn't that far off from reality.' And this thought which makes you sick. Like pit of your stomach sick. A type of sickness that can't be achieved by a monster, zombie or other supernatural force. This is gut punching realism at its finest.
Our film follows the progress of four students and a guide as they set out to document the perilous trek of a group of Mexicans as they attempt to cross the border, risking their lives for the hope of a better one. They meet up with a man and board a bus and are taken to an area where the entrance to an underground tunnel resides. The group make their way through and to the other side and meet up with their transport. Their ride is a moving truck which is supposed to drive them into the heart of Texas. But just when they think they're well on their way to freedom, things get derailed when someone hijacks the truck.
The truck pulls up to a compound, the back of it opened up and immediately, the group is hit by spotlights. A voice comes over the speaker and demands that all strip down naked. The group of students and their guide call out, telling anyone who will listen that they are American. They are then taken into separate interrogation rooms and quizzed about their backgrounds along with being asked about the purpose behind the documentary. Travis, the head of the film crew, strikes a deal with the masked men. The crew is to film the group who runs the compound, documenting their actions and their guiding philosophies and principles. Little does he know that he (and the group) are going to get a lot more than they bargained for.
Things start off seemingly justifiable as the masked men talk about ridding the U.S. of the vermin who cross the boarder with drugs. They bind and torture a man who's revealed to be one such smuggler, going down a laundry list of his crimes. But it soon becomes apparent that no one is safe within the group not even the innocent. The sickest moment coming when a man is strapped to a chair and asked to answer questions about American history. For every wrong answer, his wife, attached to a drawn and quartering device, is stretched out inch by inch. Even the students aren't without consequence as they're killed when they attempt to help out members of the illegal immigrant group.
Things come to a head (literally) when Travis, who's heavily sedated, is forced to swing a bat adorned with nails into a pinata. The only problem? The pinata is filled with one of his friends. It's brutal and absolutely sickening. When he comes to and realizes what it is that he's done, he makes a last ditch effort with the surviving members of the crew to break free and get out.
This one is hard to stomach and get through folks. It feels like a ripped from the pages type of a story. Next to the psychological, this is the other type of genre film that gets to me the most. Steeped in realism, Undocumented will shake your core.