Horror Movie Review: The Nameless (1999)

The Nameless is a 1999 independent Spanish horror film directed by Jaume Balagueró.

The gruesomely mutilated body of a girl is found in a manhole by Spanish police. The parents of missing six-year-old Angela Gifford, local editor Claudia and her British husband Marc, are duly notified. The identification is only deemed possible thanks to a bracelet and a four-centimeter leg length discrepancy. All other identifying traits are missing and the body shows needle insertions and acid burns, apparently inflicted antemortem.~

Five years later, Claudia is still haunted by the tragedy. She is living alone, addicted to tranquilizers and stalked by her possessive ex-boyfriend Toni. One day, she receives a desperate phone call from someone identifying herself as her presumed dead daughter and begging to be rescued. Intrigued by the resemblance to Angela’s voice and the mention of a seaside location where she used to take her daughter, Claudia visits the site. The nearby deserted clinic reveals grotesque angelic imagery and an orthopedic boot ostensibly left for her to find. Claudia contacts Massera, the detective who probed into Angela’s disappearance. Despite his recent discharge from the force, he agrees to investigate.

Could her daughter really be calling her after all these years? Is it possible the police made that much of a mistake? Watch and find out.

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This movie should be renamed The Actionless or Talking: The Movie, for the simple reason that absolutely nothing happens in this film. There are so many long winded talking scenes, they pretty much take up 95% of the movie. But at the same time you learn nothing about the characters and still don’t really understand what’s going on, it’s exhausting. After listening to hours of dialogue I still don’t know much about the investigation or disappearance either.

On top of this, the characters make lots of dumb and infuriating decisions. The Nameless genuinely has a solid concept but it’s delivered in such a convoluted way. When we meet with the cult leader, Santi, he blathers on so much that I still don’t comprehend what he was talking about or why the cult was doing what they were doing. It was all just lost in the dialogue.

Fortunately for this so called horror, the gore did look great and very realistic. But it was extremely minimal and only really in about 2 scenes.

The editing is extremely 90s and the music is terrible, it’s so jarring. It’s obnoxious and loud and doesn’t fit the scenes at all.

Overall, The Nameless is a competently made movie where everyone acts well but it’s just so boring and doesn’t manage to get its message across well at all. Additonally, it has some unintentionally hilarious moments, an honourable mention is Santi saying something I assume was lost in translation, “You know, I have one nipple longer than the other, like a python.” All you can do is laugh…


  • Sally Powell

    Editor/Writer - Stay at home mum educating the horror minds of tomorrow. If it's got vampires or Nicolas Cage in it, I'm sold. Found cleaning bums or kicking ass in an RPG. (And occasionally here reviewing all things horror and gaming related!)

The Nameless
  • The Final Score - 4/10
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