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Thesis (1996)

Ana Torrent , Fele Martínez , Alejandro Amenábar  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez, Eduardo Noriega, Xabier Elorriaga, Miguel Picazo
  • Directors: Alejandro Amenábar
  • Writers: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
  • Producers: Alejandro Amenábar, Emiliano Otegui, Hans Burmann, José Luis Cuerda, Julio Madurga
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1928639011
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,710 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Thesis" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar grabbed the attention of American audiences with his dreamy thriller Open Your Eyes, but he earlier sent shock waves throughout Spain in 1996 with this disturbing debut. Thesis is a quietly creepy psychological thriller about a young college student, Ángela (Ana Torrent) investigating the social fascination with sensational violence for her thesis project. In her search for violent video footage, she stumbles onto what may be a real live snuff film, a videotape that her professor was watching before his untimely death. With the help of a geeky gore junkie she uncovers a conspiracy that may include her handsome but sinister new boyfriend, her thesis advisor, and even her weirdo partner. When she uncovers one too many secrets lying in the catacombs of the university basement, she realizes that she may be the next victim. It goes on perhaps too long, and Amenábar's pointed observations on the lure of violence and the dark side of human nature are lost as the spiraling mystery spins into a first-person nightmare, but his skill at weaving a paranoid world where evil may lurk behind every friendly face is undeniable. Thesis is reminiscent of Brian De Palma's early thrillers: dark, stylish, subdued, and bubbling with the characters' guilty (and ultimately dangerous) fascination with the transgressive. --Sean Axmaker


The new re-mastered Bayview looks as good as the Spanish edition, but it has no PAL speed-up and the extras have English subtitles. It is dual-layered and anamorphic. Visually it seems strong. Audio has only 2,0 channel but sounded clean and without flaw to me - in the original Spanish with optional English subtitles. Supplements include a 25-minute ''making of'' featurette, 7-mnute of deleted scenes, and an almost 10-minute piece on storyboarding. It would have been nice to have an Amenábar commentary - with English subs but I am content.

I've always liked this film - a lot - and it's nice to have a strong NTSC version finally available after all these years. Strongly recommended suspense, horror flic - let's hope we see more from Bayview Entertainment of the same caliber. -- Gary W. Tooze, DVD Beaver, February 2011

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thesis, a triumph of indie filmmaking, don't miss it! December 11, 1999
Alejandro Amenábar's THESIS is one of the most disturbing and original movies I have seen in a long, long time. For some reason I was captured at once by its raw look and complex story, perfectly played by Ana Torrent as the lead character Angela.
Angela is a film student at the university in Madrid, Spain. While doing some research for her graduation thesis on violence in movies, she comes across (in part by chance) a snuff video tape where a young girl can be seen (and heard) slowly and viciously being tortured and killed to death, in the most gruesome and inhumane way you can possibly imagine.
The genious behind THESIS lies in the fact that Amenábar slowly takes you deeper and deeper into the story, until you find yourself immersed in a world of terror and intrigue from which you realize there is no way out.
Angela can't force herself to watch the tape at first, but the choices she makes will lead her deeper and deeper not only into the heart of the killer, but into the heart of her very own fears.
Don't miss this one, it's an excellent example of how you don't need a big budget nor A-list movie stars to make a truly outstanding movie. Word of caution though, this is not for the faint at heart. The DVD edition is highly, highly recommeneded, I'm glad they decided to release this one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real taste for death November 13, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The thing that's interesting is the word thesis. It can also mean a theme. Well, Alejandro Amenabar's theme and Angela's thesis are one and the same, examining people's morbidity over images of violent death. The theme can be summarized in the opening scene, involving a man who has thrown himself in front of the train and the people straining to see.
Angela Marques is a student at the School of Mass Communications in Madrid. She asks the kindly Professor Figueroa, who's directing her thesis, if he could get access to the video archives, which has some very violent images. He picks a video out and watches it in the screening room. The next day, Angela finds him dead from an asthma attack, but the look in his face is one of fear. She pockets the video he was watching and enlists the aid of Chema, a classmate who has a taste for violent and pornographic videos.
To her shock and surprise of Chema, it is a snuff film of a young girl being tortured, beaten, killed, and then cut to pieces with a chainsaw. Chema recognizes her as Vanessa, a student who had disappeared two years ago. However, is Chema telling her everything he knows?
Angela then runs into Bosco, a real lady's man who knew Vanessa. He charms his way into her family, even flirting with Sena, Angela's younger and bratty sister. Bosco is a bit of a cad, as he treats his girlfriend Yolanda callously. It turns out that Vanessa had run away with a boy and wrote a letter, but is that true? Things heat up when Jorge Castro, the cinema professor assigned to take over Figueroa's classes and hence directing her thesis, seems to be involved. There's more, but I won't spoil it here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, lousy picture transfer March 9, 2004
We wanted to make an "AMERICAN STYLE THRILLER!" says director Alejandro Amenabar and crew concerning the film "Thesis," so much so that you can practically see the all caps and quotation marks whenever anyone mentions the phrase on the behind the scenes featurette. I think this statement even appears on the cover for the DVD edition. The question I have to ask after hearing this declaration is "Why?" Most American thrillers, at least in recent years, are dreadfully boring pieces of chaff churned out with cookie cutter precision. Usually, the characters in an "American thriller" rarely achieve any sort of depth, the filmmakers rely so heavily on special effects and violence as to reduce the plot to mere banality, and the starched, formulaic nature of the film guarantees you can recite the dialogue before the characters do. I suspect the director of "Thesis" probably referred to older American thrillers from the middle part of the twentieth century instead of the pap released over the last couple of decades. Whatever the case, I saw little resemblence to American thrillers as I watched "Thesis." I do think the film favorably compares to one of Dario Argento's giallo films rather than anything released on this side of the pond. And that, my friends, is ultimately a good thing.
"Thesis" tells the story of Spanish film student Angela Marquez (Ana Torrent) and her ghastly experiences as she prepares to work on her thesis at university. A closet voyeur fascinated with violence, Marquez hungers to do her thesis on the elusive film genre known as snuff. Snuff, of course, is the filming of real murder for entertainment value, and we all know such things do not exist in any marketable sense of the word.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My name is Angela, I'm going to die. March 14, 2003
By A Customer
Thesis is one of the fastest and most thrilling movies that I've seen in years!
Angela is writing her Thesis on audivisual violence. She has enlisted the help of her professor and her reclusive new friend Chema. Her professor has a heart attack while watching a snuff film found in the school's archives. Angela steals the tape before anyone else can get to it and she and Chema watch it. The film stars a missing co-ed and Chema believes they can find the film's origin by locating the unique camera that was used.
Are they looking for the filmmaker, or is the filmmaker looking for them? Is there more to Chema than he lets on? What kind of person is the mysterious and charming Bosco?
Alejandro Amenabar is BRILLIANT! This is a average story made extrodinary by it's brilliant director and wonderful actors. Fele Martinez is hysterical and poignant at the same time as Chema. Eduardo Noriega is mesmerizing as Bosco (I found myself wanting to stand and cheer every time he was on the screen). This is definitely a must see! It's 100% American in it's action, it's just spoken in a different language (you won't mind reading the sub-titles). If you love movies, give this one a chance. It will blow you away.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, chilling and sick
The movie sent chills up my spine and sickened me at the same time. Every person in this film had a sickness for violence or fascination with violence. Read more
Published on November 7, 2011 by Sheila Bloom
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
This movie is well written.. LOVE IT!!! I bought it on VHS so the quality is not amazing, but it didn't even matter.This is a great movie.
Published on October 13, 2011 by Amy Mulhearn
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie was terrible!!!
When I saw the high reviews of this film I was tempted to buy it, but decided to just rent it on my netflix acct. instead. Man, am I glad I did! This movie was soooo stupid!!! Read more
Published on June 30, 2011 by Gary Lee
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Good but Not Great
I'm usually up for this kind a flick. A mystery thriller can and should manipulate it's audience. Give them the right set-up and pepper in all the right clues at all the right... Read more
Published on March 19, 2011 by Eric Sanberg
4.0 out of 5 stars An impressive and scary debut film.
An entertaining, thought provoking and at times truly scary first film. It reminds me of early DePalma, both in it's strengths and weaknesses. Read more
Published on September 24, 2010 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Help with subtitles in Tesis

I just wondered if anyone knows how to access the subtitles (any) in Tesis. I can't seem to find them. Read more
Published on November 29, 2008 by W. Staggs
5.0 out of 5 stars A restrained film about violence and gore
As part of her thesis on Audiovisual Violence and the Family, university student Angela (Ana Torrent) obtains a snuff movie that she comes to believe shows the murder of a fellow... Read more
Published on August 1, 2008 by Genevieve Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie has haunted me for years!
Very few movies have actually given me nightmares (Event Horizon (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition), Nosferatu (The Ultimate Two-Disc Edition)) or made me scared to look in the... Read more
Published on April 22, 2008 by Morrigan Alexandros
4.0 out of 5 stars Tesis, me gusta!
En Tesis, una pelicula de horror y accion, Amenábar obtuvo un nivel de peligroso que fue muy real para la persona que miró. Read more
Published on May 4, 2007 by Etienne P. Droulez
5.0 out of 5 stars Si te gusta sangre . . .
En la película Tesis, el director Amanabar cuenta un cuento de suspenso que está hecho mejor por mucha sangre y violencia. Read more
Published on May 4, 2007 by S. Palley
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