Chapter 1 - The Mysterious Stranger and the Monastery of Silence
Alfonso, Cristina and Eduardo are an attractive trio who find themselves lost in the Mexican countryside after dark. When we first meet them, Cristina and Alfonso are helping Cristina's husband Eduardo out of a gully, an act symbolic of the alliance that threatens to come between Eduardo and his wife. Throughout much of the film, the body language between Alfonso and Cristina suggest a developing romantic bond. Cristina often walks closer to Alfonso than she does her husband, even taking Alfonso's arm at times. She seems drawn to Alfonso's nature, which is as adventurous as Eduardo's is cautious.
Eduardo, Cristina and Alfonso
While they contemplate their situation, Alfonso
recalls that there is an abandoned monastery in the area. Suddenly, a voice from behind catches them off
guard. The trio turns to find a tall, gaunt figure cloaked in black, looking not unlike Murder Legendre - even wearing
a similar black hat. He is accompanied by a large hound.
A Surprised Trio
The Stranger in Black
The Hellish Hound
He will take them to the Monastery of Silence. Eduardo reluctantly goes along as the others follow the mysterious guide. As the stranger stops to point out the bell tower on the horizon, his hound bays at the distant monastery. Eduardo displays some anxiety about going further. Though he his reticent, he continues along with the others.
Shall We Follow Him?
Led to the Monastery
The Monastery of Silence
When they arrive at the huge, imposing wooden doors of the monastery, the man in black speaks a few words and Alfonso knocks on one of the doors. As the sound reverberates inside, the trio turns to find the mysterious man and hound have vanished. While they stare at the spot where the man once stood, a pair of wide-open eyes peers at them through a grate in the door. Slowly the door opens - its ancient hinges moan with disapproval. The trio looks back and is startled to find a solitary monk, robed and hooded, standing in the doorway. He speaks to them in a soft monotone. They are cautioned not to ask questions of the brothers of the Monastery of Silence. Eduardo urges the others not to go in. But Alfonso and Cristina enter the monastery as the ever-cautious Eduardo hesitates. Nevertheless, as the others disappear inside, he follows.
The Monastery Door
Someone is Coming!
Welcome . . .But Please Obey the Rules
The monk leads them to room that is decorated with fading religious frescoes and artifacts. After the monk leaves them, they examine their surroundings and notice among the furnishings a large, heavily constructed armoire leaning precariously forward. Alfonso tilts the armoire back and replaces the wooden block that once held it in place. As the trio turns their collective attention to the room's other contents they are startled by the reappearance of the monk.
The Waiting Room
Checking Out the Surroundings
He gestures for them to follow him and as they leave the room Eduardo looks back to find that once again the armoire is leaning dangerously forward, the wood block having been mysteriously moved aside.
The Mysterious Armoire
End of Chapter 1
Stay tuned for Chapter 2 "Strange Happenings . . ."