"Whatever you think is going on here, this is worse."
A documentary crew accompany a group of illegal immigrants crossing the Border, but their plans run afoul when they are captured by a gang of sadistic radicals in New Mexico.
'Undocumented' follows a documentary crew who is attached to a group of Mexican immigrants who have paid enormous sums of money to a coyote (not the cat-snatching mongrel, rather a smuggler of people) to get into the United States. Illegally, in case you weren't getting the point. The irony is that legal entrance to the United States is cheaper and safer, if safety is part of the calculation - but that's politics, and a hard topic to rationally discuss in Texas, California, or Arizona. Incredibly the creators of 'Undocumented' use blood and abject terror to drive the discourse in a way that TV's Border Wars simply cannot. And no matter what side you sit on the political spectrum, you will think about the subject matter.
The cast does exceptional and memorable work: Liz, the high-minded liberal producer (Alona Tal, of lots o' TV and voice-overs since 2003); her erstwhile boyfriend and the project's journo-opportunistic director, Travis (Scott Mechlowicz, of 'Eurotrip'); the Mexican émigré cousin, Alberto (the more-than-credible Yancey Arias) of one of the crew, Davie (Greg Serano, with a solid TV CV); and drug-using sound guy smart ass, Jim (Alias' Kevin Weisman). Even the narratively expendable characters turn negligible "raw meat" roles into loss. The tragic chorus of ill-fated illegal aliens are authentic and utterly haunting, as if director Chris Peckover actually captured and tortured them. (He didn't. Right?)
The film treads the kind of suggested territory that franchise torture porn such as Hostel and Saw is awkwardly compelled to throw at the audience in explicit, anatomically-correct splatter. The argument that such franchises are simply satire is lost: 'Undocumented' is pure and sophisticated satire that teases the sensibilities of the viewer without abusing them into disaffection. You care. And stranger still, your perspective - your "side" - is apt to vacillate. It's a "hard" movie. I could go on and on: I can't stop thinking about this film. I was on the edge of my seat early on, and gripped until the very end. It's a brilliant effort that touches nerves you may not even know you have. The closing shot and speech, the first reveal of the masked radicals, the enigmatic "Z" and the breadth of the cabal is unforgettable - cinema gold.