The Baztan Trilogy



The first movie 'The Invisible Guardian' begins with the killings of several teenage girls and elaborate staging of their bodies by the river in the damp valley of Elizondo. Amaia Salazar, our protagonist, returns there, her hometown, as the Chief Investigator for the case. She heads the homicide department. The serial killings seem aimed at young girls who don't uphold the traditional norms and have begun exploring their sexuality. Through the case, Amaia grapples with her own demons, her relationship issues and traumatic memories of abuse from her past. We get to know that her mother had abused her, being seemingly senile herself, and was then admitted to a facility.

The setting of the damp valley where it rains all hours of the day, the cloudy scenery, the fog covered thick forest maintain a sinister vibe throughout the movie. It is an apt backdrop for a crime thriller, with supernatural undertones. The mythical beast  basajaun, the big hairy beast of the forest, seems to be the Guardian angel or protector of the valley and its presence is evident throughout. The feel and theme kept me on the edge throughout.

The small town is associated with its own bakeries, the flavors of cakes and flour-made sweet delicacies. It adds so well to the setting. An off-map locale, a small township with its own secrets. The victims have a cookie like local cake on them, as a staging ritual by the killer. And Amaia seems to be sleepwalking to their family bakery in the middle of the night. She has bad memories in there. Her sister Flora runs it now. That spooks me a bit - that bakery. Amaia's aunt was such a delightful character. Her vibes were so homely. She read tarot cards to Amaia when she couldn't find an answer. 


The second movie, 'The Legacy of Bones' is even more sinister with the mystery of a hell lot of bones found in a cave, a long history of witchcraft in the valley, and suspected female infanticides. This is my favorite movie from the series.

We see that the psyche of the people in the valley is deep rooted in traditional beliefs- like burying a baby deceased after birth, unbaptized, beside the house for luck. The minor happenings from the first book are a part of something big in this one. Someone's provoking the convicts in the medical facility to kill themselves, leaving a one word message. Amaia discovers dark deeply buried secrets about her birth, her childhood and her mother. Something she had a hunch about through her dreams, but the truth was way darker, harder to digest. The mythical, the good and the evil coexist in the valley. The final scene was nerve-wracking- as the climax happens in the dead night in the cave with the entire town flooded with the river, due to incessant rains.


In the third movie, 'Offering to the Storms' there's a new discovery of secret sects, societies with damnable practices, who made offerings to the devil mythical being Inguma, for a life of prosperity. It connects all the loose ends slowly. All the deaths in the valley are connected in one way or the other. Amaia's friends are targeted, the one's unsuspected is the culprit. Personal relations take a toll. And the presence of a powerful evil spirit is felt vividly.


I can see why this is such a well received series, translated over 30+ languages. It's just so twisted and hard hitting. The supernatural elements. So mysterious. The best thing about this series is that it starts off with reality, crime thriller, slowly seeps some supernatural into it. And that builds up over the time, so much so that every criminal action, has an evil dark ulterior motive. The mythical and supernatural coexist with the reality. Side by side. They cannot be separated. The references to decades-old history, myths of the land, practices and rituals make it an interesting read. Religion coexists in the land with sectarianism, secret societies and black magic.

Thanks to some awesome bloggers' recommendations- I have enjoyed watching this series so much. So thrilling and unforgettable a story. Available on Netflix.


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Comments

  1. I didn't know anything about this series, thansk for the concise info

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    1. Me neither, at least before October. I got to know this from bloggers- as they recommended thrillers on a particular post. It was really worth it. I watched the entire series in a single day.

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  2. I am not into thrillers and I am afraid know nothing about them.I am sure those who watch them will be glued to their screens after reading your review :)

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    1. Haha, I can understand. As I am not into horror at all. Horror doesn't really suit me.

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  3. Never knew of this series, thanks for sharing the detailed review. Supernatural, mysterious elements, and crime thriller all these are words that will make sure I watch this.

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  4. This is my favourite trilogy of 2020 so far. I have saved the last movie to watch this week. Love the character of Amaia, all that she suffered since childhood and the amazing policewoman that she is. Thanks for writing!

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  5. This triology is so new for me, never heard about them, would check the movies before i read the book, I am sure it would be fun

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  6. Was not aware of the series and thanks for a good writeup. Will search for and try watching over the coming days

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  7. I was wanting to watch these movies. Your review helped me decide

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  8. You have shared detailed reviews and it was interesting to read its content

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  9. Sounds like a very interesting series! I may just have to cave in and get Netflix for a month or two! ;-)

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  10. you're the second person who has recommended this series, i'm totally intrigued and i'm going to watch it for sure.

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  11. Didnt know anything about this series till I read this. Will check it out now.

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  12. Wow! I wasn't aware of this movie series. Thank you for the brilliant review.

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  13. Actually i have taken a break from suspense and thrillers but this series looks really amazing. Thank you for your review. Will catch up soon.

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  14. I was looking forward for a nice suspence thriller, and this looks like best series. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I love to watch superthriller and thriller but this would be too much for me. Thanks for sharing though.

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  16. Thanks for sharing the review of the trilogy. You received the recommendation from other bloggers and I got the recommendation from you. I would like to keep this on my watchlist. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Hearing about this series for the first time. Will surely check out.

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My Last Trip Before Lockdown

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When Covid19 had just put its foot in the country with only 3 cases in Kerala, we had our Ooty trip planned. All tickets and bookings were done since the new year. With just three days in hand, four of us travelled from Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar, to Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, to join a few others staying in the city. And the excitement to finally meet one another after 6 months of that trip to Pune, the Lohagard Trek- we were kids excitedly clicking selfies in our face masks, hurriedly putting a quick dab of sanitizer before hugging one another.


Next day early morning we were to start for Ooty. Sleepy heads, gulping a bowl each of muesli, we started onward journey to Bandipur National Park. Devouring uttapams, dosas and piping hot cups of coffee for breakfast at a restaurant by the highway, chit chats were full on, as was the music and dance in the 12-seater vehicle. Funny anecdotes had us laughing our hearts out, gossips were such a thrill and cooking recipe exch…

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