Man is the real monster, and moving from the big city to bumfuck reveals the seething problems lurking beneath the veneer of respectability.
The classic middle class urban family moves to an inherited mansion on the countryside, since the patriarch hit its mid-life crisis. The rest of the family begrudgingly goes along.
They are received with the coldness and disdain that only tightly knit small communities can do, but soon this is better explained as distrust and temerity.
There are many old stories they are not privy to, and as they are revealed, they are shown to be part of the problem. Or at least their ancestors. Ugly actions, greed, rage, death. That ugliness is transported to the present, but that’s before they even come to the village.
Os Maias casts a very long shadow on all Portuguese culture, even 150 years later. It’s the go-to familial tragedy eternally retold. Another note is that the producer appears as the big evildoer in the past.
15 years later, their site redirects to some weird Chinese thing that looks like a bouncer for a virtual brothel. It’s almost fitting.