Veronica (2017) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Veronica (2017) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on October 12th, 2018 | Movie Review | Haunted, Supernatural, Drama

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It’s about a teenager besieged by dangerous supernatural presences that threaten to harm her whole family. It was inspired by terrifying police files that were never solved.

Veronica was directed by Paco Plaza (who also directed Second Name and [REC]) and stars Sandra Escacena, Bruna González  and Claudia Placer.

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Veronica Review

Paco Plaza’s Veronica was launched on streaming giant, Netflix to the tune of very little hype or fanfare back when it first dropped last year. However, it didn’t take long before people were talking about it regardless. Like other possession-themed staples such as The Exorcist and The Conjuring, Veronica is loosely based on a true story – always something that adds another dimension of enjoyment to an otherwise cookie cutter ghost story.

Not only were fans falling in love with the frightening plotline and dark moodiness of the film itself, but they were having a blast digging into the inspiration behind it as well. It wasn’t long before Veronica was being hailed as one of the scariest films to drop in a long time, but does it actually live up to the hype? Even more importantly, is it actually worth your time, especially with so much other promising horror fare taking up space in your Netflix queue these days?

Unlike 2017’s The Ritual, Veronica wasn’t produced by Netflix, nor is it considered a Netflix original. The Spanish horror first made headlines after its debut screening at the Toronto Film Festival last year. It follows the story of a young girl named Veronica (Sandra Escacena) who decides to use a Ouija board with some school friends during a solar eclipse. Although Veronica attempts to use the board to get in touch with her deceased father, it soon becomes clear that she’s instead attracted the interest of some truly sinister forces. Can Veronica overcome the evil that’s targeted her and protect her younger siblings from harm before it’s too late?

Anyone who’s seen their fair share of Ouija board-themed horror movies will probably be able to predict the general gist of what happens over the course of Veronica’s 105-minute runtime with a lot of accuracy. However, it manages to frighten and unsettle anyway. Paco Plaza, who’s best known for his chilling REC series, is clearly in his element as director here. He directs each scene with a confidence REC fans will be entirely familiar with, especially in regards to the stunning first two installments of the franchise. He definitely shows that he’s got a knack for making horror films that don’t happen to rely on the found footage motif of REC. Sandra Escacena is wonderful as the titular Veronica as well, turning in a performance that is head and shoulders above what you’d normally expect in a film like this.

As far as the actual scares and plot twists though, you’d best not go into this expecting too much if you’re a seasoned horror fan. By now, we’ve all seen people unhinge their jaws, endure crazy dreams, and move in unnatural, unsettling ways in films like this. We’ve also seen lights flicker, electronic toys go haywire at random times, and TV sets switch on without cause when a house is allegedly haunted. Veronica even give you a creepy stock character that mysteriously understands more about what’s going on than the protagonist does – the otherworldly “Sister Death”, a blind nun that teaches at Veronica’s school.

Even so, the aforementioned performances alone make Veronica well worth a watch some night. This is especially the case if you enjoy watching films like this and comparing them with the true-to-life events that inspired them. Naturally, there are some discrepancies between the film and the real-life story, plus lots of artistic license taken for sure, but it’s still entertaining to watch everything play out. This is especially the case once you know that this particular case is one of the few that found actual authorities openly admitting to witnessing things they can’t logically explain.

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