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Film / The Body (2012)

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The Body (Spanish: El cuerpo) is a 2012 Spanish thriller film directed by Oriol Paulo.

A woman’s body disappears mysteriously from the morgue without a trace. Police inspector Jaime Peña investigates the strange occurrence with the help of Álex Ulloa, the widower of the missing woman.

This film provides examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Apparently, the person who took the body from the morgue used the air duct system to enter and leave the hospital. After The Reveal we know this was a Red Herring set up by the inspector.
  • Compartment Shot: A shot from inside the toilet bowl as Álex picks out the pieces of the torn dinner card to stuff them into his mouth.
  • Daydream Surprise: At one point, Álex finds a filled glass of wine at the hospital and a dead-looking Mayka emerges from behind his back. Then we cut to Álex waking up, revealing this scene to be a dream sequence.
  • Disconnected by Death: Subverted. We see Carla on the phone talking to Álex when a car rushes on. The scene cuts to Álex as his call gets interrupted. However, we later learn Carla wasn't run over, the incident was a setup to make Álex talk.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: The film opens with a nightguard fleeing from some unknown danger. He ends up run over by a car.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Several times during the night.
  • Eat the Evidence: When the toilet doesn't flush Álex is forced to eat the torn pieces of the compromising dinner card left for him at the bathroom.
  • Elevator Going Down: Álex and Carla have sex for the first time in the freight elevator going to her apartment.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film spans over one night until the next morning, roughly 8 hours - from the time Jaime poisons Álex until the latter goes into cardiac arrestnote . The passage of time is shown by multiple shots of clocks throughout the film.
  • Facial Horror: The close-up shot of the mutilated face of Jaime's wife after the car accident.
  • Faking the Dead: One theory of how Mayka could have vanished from the morgue. Or she had an assistant administering an antidote via Shot to the Heart.
  • Femme Fatale: Carla.
  • Gambit Roulette: Jaime's scheme works out exactly as planned.
  • Happy Flashback: We see key shots of Jaime's happy memories of his wife when he identifies her body at the morgue.
  • Identifying the Body: An emotional scene at the morgue where Jaime has to identify the body of his wife who died in the car crash.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: When Álex wants to show the inspector the body of Javier Alonso at the morgue, the man in the body bag is somebody else. Later, the police check out Álex's story by visiting Carla's apartment but find it empty with no sign anyone has been living there.
  • Lipstick Mark: Subverted. In one of the flashbacks, Mayka stops Álex as she notices something on his neck. Turns out it was a freckle she never noticed before. She might have been lying at this point though.
  • Look Both Ways: At the end of the Dramatic Chase Opening, the security guard bursts out of the forest onto the road. He looks the wrong way along the road and gets hit by a car coming the other direction.
  • The Lost Lenore: Jaime's wife who died in the car accident.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Invoked. Álex' decision to kill Mayka is a result of his fear to lose Carla.
  • Mirror Scare: In one of the flashbacks Mayka suddenly appears behind one of the lab doors, giving Álex a good scare.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The code for one of the hospital's security doors is 20-03-2012, the day Álex met Carla.
  • Perfect Poison: The cardie-toxin TH-16 which Álex used to kill Mayka with. Diluted in blood, it causes a cardiac arrest 8 hours after ingestion and leaves no trace.
  • Phoney Call: Type B. When answering the phone in front of Jaime, Álex pretends to be speaking to his sister while it's actually Carla on the other end.
  • Posthumous Character: Mayka's character is developed entirely through flashbacks.
  • The Prankster: Flashbacks show Mayka playing a lot of sick jokes on Álex, even during their wedding ceremony. This makes the idea that she would fake her own death quite believable.
  • The Reveal: Álex is responsible for the death of Jaime's wife who is also Carla's mother. Carla schemed to make Álex kill Mayka and then Jaime took it on him to gaslight and poison Álex.
  • Runaway Bride: Subverted. A flashback shows Mayka at the altar announcing she doesn't want to marry Álex only to start laughing shortly afterwards, revealing her "cold feet" to be a put on.
  • Shout-Out: There's a scene in which Álex ascends a staircase, holding a poisoned glass of wine. This scene is lifted from the notorious scene from Hitchcock's Suspicion in which Cary Grant ascends a staircase, holding a glass of milk.
  • Stress Vomit: Álex does this after seeing the wrong Javier Alonso in the body bag.
  • Surprise Car Crash: The car accident that kills Jaime's wife comes unexpectedly.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Álex spikes his wife Mayka's wine with TH-16: a cardie-toxin that causes a cardiac arrest 8 hours after ingestion. He later learns that Carla/Eva spiked his own drink with TH-16 just before he left for the morgue: almost 8 hours earlier.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Jaime poisons Álex with the same toxin the latter killed Mayka with.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Invoked by Carla.
  • Telepathic Sprinklers: A fire somewhere in the hospital kicks off all sprinklers in the building.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Álex is so smitten with Carla that he breaks his silence and tells her about his Dark Secret, the hit-and-run car accident he caused. Little does he know that Carla was in that car witnessing her mother die.
  • Trickster Girlfriend: Mayka Villaverde, the main character's wife, has pulled many pranks on her husband, including jokingly saying "No" at the wedding altar and pretending that she fired him from her company. It later turned out that she and her husband were not such a loving couple at all when he cheated on her and then poisoned her to get her money.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Álex Stress Vomits after seeing the wrong Javier Alonso in the body bag, the camera does not turn away.
  • Walk and Talk: Early on, Inspector Peña gets informed about the case at hand by an assistant on their way through the corridors of the hospital the corpse disappeared from.
  • Whoosh in Front of the Camera: Happens when a security guard patrols the empty hospital at night and suddenly a figure rushes across the screen.


Video Example(s):


Tears at the Morgue

An emotional scene at the morgue where Jaime has to identify the body of his wife who died in a car crash.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / IdentifyingTheBody

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