Veronica. Went into this film after reading articles about people who couldn’t sit through the whole thing.
Too scary. Too terrifying. Based on a true story. Too real. Mummy hold my hand… that kind of thing.
So, maybe I’m the exception. Maybe I watch too many horror films and I’ve become immune to the horrors of a Ouija bored (slightly concerning).
However, I was no where near having to switch it off. Far from it. Veronica had me glued to the screen from start to finish. It’s what horror film dreams are made of.
I’d run off into the sunset with this film if I could. Finally, a horror to arrest the recent run of iffy films on Netflix. Your horror film prayers have been answered.
The Spanish horror directed by Paco Plaza ([rec])is set in 1991 Madrid. Sandra Escacena gives an eerily intense performance as Veronica, a 15-year-old schoolgirl who cares for her siblings while her mother works round the clock at a local café.
Veronica rounds up a few pals for a Ouja board sesh during a solar eclipse in hope of contacting her late father. Then, things go haywire. DUN DUN DUNN.
It’s not an original story. It’s conjuring-ish, exorcism-esque you get the idea.
However, Veronica is a thematic patchwork. An exploration of the inner landscape of a teenager who has lost her father and has had to grow up all too quickly.
She is pulled and pushed by different forces throughout the film, not only by the spirit haunting her but also the fatigue and parental solitude forced upon her by her mother.
The demon acts as a specter for unwanted maturity. Her innocence and stunted growth are highlighted when we discover that Veronica is yet to have her first period. This symbolism is carried throughout in various scare-rific ways.
In one of the most chilling scenes in the film, Veronica imagines herself being eaten alive by her brothers and sisters.
A terrifying metaphor for how working class families had to disassemble in order to function.
Good luck getting that creepy image out your head for the next three days. Opt for vegetarian snacks.
The cinematography in Veronica is beautiful. Plaza and his team stay away from the stark, realist lighting of most modern horror films.
The lighting gives us a phantasmal mix of the surreal and reality. I find films are more chilling when they feel real. Veronica feels real.
Its in Spanish too, how real can you get? Plaza has hit the nail on the head with highlighting that Veronica is a true story.
See? Horror films aren’t always small budgets and cheap scares. Veronica is certainly not profound or ground breaking but its nice to know that some good old fashioned metaphors lurk beneath. Veronica has meat on its bones.
– Breana Garratt