The other day I came across numerous articles that discussed one of Netflix’s most recent addition to their horror genre which is Verónica (2017). It was described as so terrifying people reportedly had to turn it off. The film also received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The ratings and description made want to see if it’s really that scary.
The Spanish horror film is supposedly based on a true story. It is set in 1991, Madrid, Spain. It follows the life of Verónica, a teenage girl who basically runs her household while her mother works crazy hours. Veronica takes care of her three siblings day in and day out.
One day at school, Verónica and her friends, Rosa and Diana sneak off to their school’s basement during a solar eclipse. The girls snuck off so that they can use a Ouija board to contact lost loved ones. Veronica seems more determined than the other two girls because she is eager to get in contact with a dead father.
However, things take a turn for the worse when Verónica actually gets in contact with a spirit that temporarily possesses her and causes her to chant something disturbing to one of her friends. She blacks out and wakes up in the nurse’s office who simply attributes her black out to low blood pressure then sends her home. While leaving school, she notices that her finger has a band aid on it because whomever she contacted through the Ouija board caused her to draw blood onto the sun that was illustrated on the board, which had some sort of weird effect due to the solar eclipse that was occurring at that moment.
Over the next few days, Verónica realizes something odd must’ve happened during the séance because now all of a sudden her friends are distancing themselves from her. She’s having weird dreams and episodes. A really creepy looking nun at her school who is known as Sister Death is caught looking at Veronica, which is extra creepy because she’s blind.
After being spooked so many times, Verónica decides to go to Sister Death for help. The nun tells her that she must go back and read so she can make right what she did wrong because a demon has attached itself to her. Verónica reads the booklet that came with the Ouija board and realizes that they did not say goodbye whomever was contacted.
However, the part of Sister Death’s advisement that Verónica didn’t get until later was that the entity had attached itself onto her. She thought if she simply gathered her ex-friends and tried to properly do the séance everything would stop, but they weren’t interested in having anything to do with her anymore. The disappointment from the shunning and impending doom left Verónica feeling hopeless, but she knew it was up to do something to protect her siblings. That same day she took matters into her own hands as she decided to get her younger brother to draw something from the booklet that would protect them on the walls of their home, but instead he curiously flipped the page and drew the symbol of invocation. In another part of their home, Veronica and her younger sisters were busy setting up for another séance so that they can attempt to make things right.
Things go completely awry as the police had to be called. The demon corners them and then lures her brother away. She tries to get her siblings out safely, but soon realizes that she is in fact the demon now and must sacrifice herself for their safety.
Initially, I thought this movie would be pretty good after I watched another Spanish horror film called REC (2007), which was directed by Paco Plaza who also directed and wrote this film. The plot had a lot of potential with the dark magic coming into play, but overall the movie was pretty lackluster for me when it came to being spooked. I’m not sure if it’s because the movie wasn’t actually scary or because I’ve been desensitized due to watching so many horror films. It just gave me a European blockbuster horror movie vibe.
What I did enjoy about this film is the level of acting that was done by the lead actress, Sandra Escacena who played Verónica was stellar along with the children who acted as her siblings did really good as well. Verónica devotion and love for her siblings is what kept her going. She went up against a demon in order to protect her family from something she brought into their lives.
In sum, the movie wasn’t a complete bust because it wasn’t too cliche and had a different twist to it than a typical American horror with a white damsel in distress who wanted contact her grandma or something. Verónica is definitely worth watching if you’re looking for something new and different to look at.
Check out the trailer below