Hey folks, Jesse here, I recently checked out a new movie that recently came to Netflix. It’s a Spanish horror movie called Verónica. It was written and directed by Spain’s Paco Plaza. Plaza is most known for writing and directing, REC and REC 2. He directed REC 3 but didn’t write that one. These are some pretty cool movies as well so make sure to add those to your watch list after you read this. You can skip REC 4 maybe. I didn’t like that one as much but it’s really up to you.
This is a Spanish language movie and it takes and features some “actual events”. This has become a broad term over the years so it’s probably safe to say the bare minimum of this actually happened. It’s set in Spain back in 1991 but I couldn’t really tell. It seemed modern day to me but I only really remember what the 90s were like in Maine and the only thing I was worried about was a clown in the sewer.
So let’s talk about the movie. Spoiler free.
Verónica is the story of a 15-year-old girl named, you guessed it, Verónica! Verónica attends high school and spends a lot of time taking care of her young siblings. There are twins girls and a very young brother. Verónica’s mother is a very busy waitress and is always at work. With their father dead and having their mom so busy, Verónica is the chief caregiver of her young siblings. The recent death of her father is still raw and it seems Verónica isn’t quite through the stages of grief. This is evident when Verónica brings a Ouija board to school.
A book of the Occult has informed her that she could talk to a loved one that has passed. There happens to be a solar eclipse so that apparently really helps the process. The girls ask their questions and Verónica tries to contact her father. At this moment the eclipse occurs and Verónica is greatly affected by the result.
This movie more closely resembles something like Insidious rather than Plaza’s work in the REC movies. It’s a ghost story that deals with personal tragedy and what we are willing to do in the face of loss. Against advice and our own better judgments, people will go to great lengths to ease the pain of losing a loved one. Some people turn to a bottle of alcohol, in this case, it’s inadvertently awakening a demon. It’s touching how much Verónica cares for her siblings in place of their busy mother. She cooks for them, bathes them and gets them ready each day. Early on you can see how much she loves them. She is a surrogate mother to them and is determined to save them from the evil she brought home.
There are a few especially scary parts in the movie. There’s a few jump scares here and there but it relies a lot on the haunting aspect. It’s got a dead father ghost and a blind nun nicknamed Sister Death. Sister Death delivers the creepy in a haunting scene as the harbinger of the wicked things that are coming Verónica’s way.
I liked the music in the movie as well. There was some cool rock/alternative music from the era and I enjoyed hearing the genre in a different language. The score was appropriate for the tone of the movie but it didn’t really stand out to me. Not that it wasn’t good, It just wasn’t very memorable. The movie has some twists and turns and I wasn’t really expecting the ending. Like I mentioned before it had the same appeal that you might find in a movie by Blumhouse Productions. Movies like Insidious and The Conjuring have made their mark on horror and this is a similar take on those movies. It’s doesn’t have the same bland PG-13 rating as those movies get so expect something more raw and grittier.
It gets going at a steady terrifying pace and doesn’t really slow down. I was a fan of Paco Plaza as a director going into this movie and I have to say I’m still a fan. He brought a fairly fresh perspective to the genre although I would be fine if I never saw a Ouija board in a movie ever again. You know what? After I write this I’m starting an online petition to stop the use of Ouija boards in film. Now I just need a catchy hashtag.
That’s it for now. Go check out Verónica. It’s on Netflix and definitely worth a watch for any horror fan. Be on the lookout for my next review. I’ll be taking at Liquid Sky on Blu-Ray. My initial summary is some weird, avant-garde, drug-fueled, new wave, sex-crazed maniacs are hunted by alien heroin addicts in New York City in the 1980s. Hmmm.