Netflix‘s Veronica is the Spanish answer to The Conjuring.
REC‘s director, Paco Plaza, is back with more nightmare fuel with the horror film, Veronica. Loosely based on actual events from the 1991 Vallecas case where Estefanía Gutiérrez Lázaro died mysteriously after she used an Ouija board. Veronica has already been regarded as 2018’s scariest film. Netflix viewers have allegedly not been able to finish the film stating it is too intense for them.
The film stars Sandra Escacena as Verónica, Bruna González as Lucía, Claudia Placer as Irene, Iván Chavero as Antoñito, Ana Torrent as Ana, Consuelo Trujillo as Hermana Muerte, Sonia Almarcha, Maru Valduvielso, Leticia Dolera, Ángela Fabián as Rosa, Carla Sampra, and Samuel Romero.
“A teen girl finds herself besieged by an evil supernatural force after playing Ouija with two classmates.”
The fact that this is based off a real story lends to the creepy factor. When the film begins, its a dark and stormy night as police officers are alerted by a distressing phone call. Children are screaming that an unknown assailant is coming for them. As detectives arrive on the scene, they discover the mother of the children rushing outside to her children, the same who had made the distressing phone call.
When the detective and the police officers make their way through the apartment where the phone call came from, they see the place is in shambles. There appears to have been a forcible entry of some kind. A trail of blood leads to a bedroom where the detectives uncover something truly horrific.
The film then flashes back to a few days earlier. We meet Veronica who is a young teenage girl having to raise her three younger siblings, Lucia, Irene, and Antonito. Her mother is an overworked bartender. Their father has recently passed.
At their Catholic School, they are gathered to witness a solar eclipse. Leading up to the event, their teacher explains how some ancient cultures believed in using eclipses to stage human sacrifices and summon dark spirits. Verónica, who snuck a photo of her father out of her mother’s closet, wishes to speak with him from beyond the grave.
While the school is distracted with the solar eclipse, Veronica, her friend Rosa, and Diana sneak off to the basement. They play with the Ouija board Veronica brought. When the seance takes a violent turn, she is possessed by something inhuman and lets out an animalistic roar that frightens Rosa.
After the school nurse determines nothing is wrong with her, Veronica leaves school. As she is leaving, the blind nun who lives there looks directly at her, as if the sister can sense something is horribly wrong. At home, Veronica slowly begins to notice weird occurrences that culminate with her having a seizure like-moment at the dinner table startling her siblings.
However, the evil spirit soon starts attacking her siblings as well in horrific dreams posing as their father and worse yet when Antonito is in the bathtub and is scorched by the hot water. The next day, Veronica goes to the school’s basement to try and find a way to stop the demon from tormenting her and her family. Veronica is met by the blind nun. The nun explains that what she did was extremely dangerous. The nun sees the evil surrounding Veronica. Later, Veronica is ignored by her friend, Rosa. Both Rosa and her mother don’t believe what Veronica is telling them. Or if they do, they are too wrapped up in their own lives to care.
When the demon attacks her siblings again, Veronica has them all sleep in the living room while their mother is at work. However, as her siblings sleep, Veronica is once again tormented by the evil spirit. Another horrific dream that leads to Veronica discovering the bottoms of all the beds in the house having burns marks.
That following day, the Nun discloses that the only way to be rid of the evil spirit is to finish the seance with a goodbye. Veronica is told she must do right what she did wrong. With only her mother and friend still not believing her, she turns to her siblings to help. They redo the seance, but when the demon claws its way out of Veronica’s bed, all hell literally breaks loose. They call the police as the apartment’s lights are shattered, and the room violently trembles.
They are all frantically run out of the apartment, Veronica holding on to young Antonito, as they make their way down the stairs. When her sisters exclaim, “Where is Antonito,” she looks at a mirror in the apartment’s entryway to discover she wasn’t carrying anyone downstairs with her. Veronica orders her sisters to wait for the cops outside as she rushes back upstairs to the apartment.
This takes the story back to the start of the film, with the mother finding her daughters with the police outside of the apartment and the detective looking upward waiting for backup. When Veronica enters the apartment, it becomes a race between her and the demon to get to Antonito. When she deduces that demon is inside of her, she understands that the only way to rid themselves of the spirit and protect her family is to kill herself.
When Veronica motions to slice her throat with a shard of broken glass, the demon stops her. As the cops bust down the door leading to Veronica’s room, they witness precariously bent backward, as if being held by something. Veronica looks right at them letting out a terrifying roar and then drops to the floor. The detective finds Antonito hiding in the closet.
As an ambulance takes Veronica away, it is determined she is already dead. The film ends with the detective who was at the crime scene sitting alone in his office trying to make sense of what he just saw. The credits show the viewers the real-life photos of the crime scene in the real house of the possessed teenager adding to the overall creepiness of the film.
Plaza gets an excellent performance across the board from his child actors. Viewers will believe in their desperate plight against the invading evil spirit. Chucky Namanera‘s score that is a mix of throwback 80’s synth and Spanish Alt-Rock music from Heroes del Silencio, is pitch perfect with the haunting tone of the film.
But is Veronica the scariest movie of 2018? That remains to be seen. However, it is a strong contender. The more viewers look into the real story the film is based on, the more they will be creeped out once they watch it or have crippling nightmares after watching it.
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