A horror film too scary to finish?
When Veronica dropped on the streaming platform Netflix last month, it was initially overshadowed by releases such as Cloverfield Paradox – yup, a Super Bowl commercial will certainly help do that.
Within days of its release, those that had seen the Spanish horror movie were giving it rave reviews. Numerous publications picked up on the fact that many were saying it was too scary to finish and questioned whether it could be the scariest film ever made. I immediately had to find out for myself whether the hype was valid.
Written and directed by Paco Plaza (the mastermind behind the Rec trilogy), Veronica is chillingly based on true and unsolved events. The film opens with police responding to a distress call. This leads the authorities to an apartment where they witness something shocking that the audience cannot see at this point.
Cut to three days earlier and we see the teenage titular character played by newbie Sandra Escacena. With her single mother, Ana (Ana Torrent) working nights, Veronica takes responsibility of caring for her three younger siblings. Mourning over her father’s death, Veronica attempts to communicate with him using a Ouija board. As every horror fan would likely guess, things don’t go as planned. She doesn’t summon her father, but an evil spirit which wants to do harm to Veronica and her family.
With this being a Spanish film, there are of course subtitles. I had worried that reading the words on the screen would have distracted me from what was taking place on the screen – resulting in a less frightening viewing experience. That wasn’t the case. After a short while, you almost forget that you’re reading the dialogue and it soon becomes second nature. If anything, as you’re more focused on the screen, it makes the jump scares much more effective.
So, is Veronica the scariest film ever made? Far from it. Is it too scary to finish? Again, no. It is however the best horror I have seen in the last few years.
The movie is perhaps a victim of its own success. Given the online hype and the filmmaker behind it, I expected much more. That’s not to say that my heart wasn’t pounding out of my chest throughout – and when it comes to the horror genre, that for me is what’s most important.
Veronica is streaming on Netflix now.
Mikey Clarke[youtube id=”My-yHZoCk74″ width=”600″ height=”350″]
Running Time:1hr 45mins
Written &Directed by: Paco Plaza
Cast: Sandra Escacena, Ana Torrent, Bruna González & Claudia Placer