Quick Hit: Never quite achieves what it could have.
Ouija boards, teenage girls, creepy nuns, and possession just all seem to go together don’t they? Hardly a day goes by where at least one of these topics doesn’t come up in a horror movie conversation on Twitter or with friends. This Spanish film, on Netflix, features all four! And while it has a handful of creepy moments, it never quite reaches the heights that I think it could have had it focused in on at least one of these elements.
Vero (or Veronica) has really stepped up after her father’s death. Her nearly omniabsent (oh ya, made up a word for this one) is constantly working at the bar, and so the care of her three younger siblings falls to her. One day during an eclipse, she and a few of her friends decide to try and contact the dead via an Ouija board. They do – with Vero being the true conduit. In one of the most cliché films in the movie, something moves the glass suddenly and Vero becomes stricken and screams with a very wide mouth.
So ya – did I mention she attends a private school and one of the nuns is blind, but kind of awesome? She’s pretty much a straight smoke stack – and is legitimately scolded and talked down to by the other Sisters. But does she take their crap? Nah (well, kind of). Instead she tells Vero what she needs to do, in typical creepy cryptic nun fashion. As the movie goes, these means that we’re seeing more and more shadows and sometimes reflections of what is possibly Vero’s father.
I think what was most well done about the movie is also the most unexplained – not since I watched Gerald’s Game has there been a eclipse that featured so heavily – but what’s unfortunate is that this one is pretty much here and then gone, with no further explanation throughout the movie. That’s a bit what this whole movie is like – there are different aspects to the movie that are featured throughout that feel as if they could have been better investigated (aforementioned chain-smoking nun being one of them). I also thought they did a good job setting up Vero’s role as caregiver in her siblings’ lives.
But alas, as the clichés continue to run wild, other things also start to seem a bit familiar. I’m sure Shannon mentioned this as well, but the musical score continues to fall back on an almost Hunger Games like whistle. The film also has shadows on the wall that seem a whole lot like other movies – particularly The Nightmare. It’s almost like Vero has an advanced form of sleep paralysis (someone write me a check for that idea) and this whole thing is in her head.
The ending, which is foreshadowed in the opening scene of the movie, is also pretty standard horror fare. And then, we of course get the based on a true story thing too.
Is Veronica worth checking out? I’d say so for horror fans, but it’s definitely not a “can’t miss”. I’m giving it a “C-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"