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Life has a funny way of irreparably altering your fate in unexpected ways. The most innocuous decisions, usually made on a whim, can result in you finding yourself embroiled in a waking nightmare from which you cannot escape.

Case in point, you may wind up having the opportunity to watch a movie with a cutesy little title such as The Coffee Table (La Mesita Del Comedor). Why not give it a watch? The trailer looks promising. A little bit of blood, a little dark humor. Seems like you can expect a fun little horror story. I mean, it’s about a coffee table. How scary could a coffee table be?

Pretty damn scary as it turns out. Not your standard scary, either. We’re talking about a deep, soul-destroying breed of scary. The kind of scary that makes you view life through a lens of dread, revulsion, and despair. Who would have thought that this goofy title might be the most disturbing movie of the year? Possibly the decade.

Turns out it’s that kind of movie.

After the birth of his son, Jesús (David Pareja) finds himself struggling to maintain any semblance of control over his life. In a last-ditch effort to be in charge of something, he treks out to the furniture store to purchase a coffee table. Despite the protests from his wife María (Estefanía de los Santos), who claims that it is ugly (which is true), and that it is expensive (which is also true), Jesús insists on taking the coffee table home.

It is with that decision that Jesús sets forth a chain of events which entails the absolute nightmare of a story that is The Coffee Table.

And that’s all that can really be said of the plot. To reveal any more would be a disservice to the absolute nuclear bomb of a story crafted by director Caye Casas and co-writer Cristina Borobia.  I won’t give away the secret ingredient of this piece of nastiness. You’ll have to find that out on your own.

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The sheer audacity to conceive, write and bring to fruition a story like this is mind-blowing. Not only is it one of the most disturbing movies of recent years, it somehow manages to also be one of the funniest. A wicked streak of dark humor pervades the entire film. From the oddball salesman to the weird little girl next door who continually harasses Jesús, the script hits us with a litany of setup-punchline moments that should result in a scatter-brained story.

Typically, a movie can be either scary, or funny. Sometimes in succession, but very rarely can it accomplish both at the same time. Somehow this movie manages to pull it off, and even further, it makes it look easy.

While the script is nearly impeccable, it’s the cast that brings the story to life so well. Estefanía de los Santos brings strength and vulnerability to Maria, elevating what could be a one-note role. Rather than coming across as a nagging shrew, Maria has nuance and depth. She reveals more about herself with the blink of an eye and a well-placed laugh than most characters can say with a five-minute monologue.

Jesús’s characterization offers less range than that of María, but that’s by design. It’s Jesús that keeps the pressure rising through the course of the film. Pareja brings a subdued desperation to the character and like the best Hitchcockian plot device, Jesús is the ticking time bomb that slowly, yet inevitably, threatens to finally go off.

I have nothing but high praise for The Coffee Table, but I must warn: Watch at your own risk. This is not your standard horror movie. It’s the type of movie that wants to dig deep into what really scares us and keeps us awake at night. As such, a large segment of the population will come away from their viewing completely enraged. Angry at the director, at life, at the TV for showing them such a horrific story.

Another segment of the population will likely turn it off ten minutes in, either unwilling or unable to handle the emotions the movie stirs. For viewers in the second category, once they reach the moment, they’ll know that this movie is not meant for them.

For the rest of us, this movie is highly recommended. And for a certain breed of maniac, The Coffee Table is the perfect movie to watch when you feel an inexplicable need to ruin your weekend.