New York Magazine’s VULTURE presents a fantastic list of
100 Scares That Shaped Horror
featuring Ana Asensio’s Glass Eye Pix production MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND

Most Beautiful Island (2017)

Directed and written by Ana Asensio

At the outset, at least, there’s little about Ana Asensio’s directorial debut — which at first appears to be a poignant social drama about an undocumented immigrant — that suggests it might employ the conventions of horror to provide its epic punch. Based around the story of Luciana (played by Asensio herself, who has a background as an actor on Spanish television), the film tells of her increasing isolation as she struggles to make ends meet in her new life in New York City. Through her journey, the film reveals just how deep the cracks undocumented workers fall into can be, and the depravity of those willing to profit from their precarious position. Luciana’s vulnerability makes her easy to exploit, and she accepts a vague, mysterious job that finds her well out of her already tenuous comfort zone. It’s here that Asensio’s experience as a theatrical director comes to the fore with one of the most harrowing and immaculately executed horror scenes in recent years, in which the wealthy pay to watch desperate, beautiful women risk their lives for money in a series of staged Grand Guignol–esque “performances.” To give too much away would spoil the surprise, but Most Beautiful Island — like Get Out — demonstrates just how effective experimenting with definitions of genre can be. By tackling women’s experiences of immigration and exploitation, Asensio film is another indicator of what compelling, exciting things horror has to tell us in the future. —AHN

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