Here we are again gals and ghouls; to talk about yet another horror movie. Tonight we are going to discuss a film that has been getting a ridiculous amount of press coverage and is frequently being called “The scariest movie on Netflix.” Critics are even claiming that the majority of viewers have had to turn it off by the half way point because it is just too damn scary. Well, I watched this film on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’ve got my own thoughts about it. Ladies and gentlemen, gals and ghouls; tonight we are going to be reviewing the film Veronica.
***WARNING***THIS POST WILL CONTAIN MANY SPOILERS. IF YOU WISH TO SEE THIS FILM, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING IT FIRST AND THEN COMING BACK HERE BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT.
This film is based on the police documentation of events that occurred near Madrid, Spain.
Veronica is a spanish film that is set in the city of Madrid and revolves around a girl named (you guessed it!) Veronica. She is a fifteen-year-old girl who spends all of her spare time looking after her three siblings; Lucia, Irene and Antonito, while her mother works ridiculous hours at a bar close to their home. Their father has passed and the family struggles to make ends meet. Our story starts on the day of a solar eclipse. While all of the students at their school are outside watching, Veronica and her two friends Rosa and Diana, decide to conduct a seance using a Ouija board in the cellar of the school. Their goal is to contact Diana’s boyfriend who recently passed away in a motorcycle accident, as well as Veronica’s father. The scene plays out like your typical Ouija board session until all of a sudden the glass the girls are using as a planchette shatters above the sun symbol, cutting Veronica’s finger and leaving her to bleed as the board breaks in two. Suddenly, the lights turn out and when they finally find some flashlights, Veronica is lying on the ground muttering something under her breath. She then screams an unholy scream and her friends go to find help.
A seemingly small, but very important part of this film, is that we find out that Veronica, at fifteen-years-old, has yet to get her first period. It is almost immediately after this that the bizarre happenings begin. Within her home, Veronica starts noticing that things are moving on their own and she begins to see shadow figures trying to hurt both her and her young siblings. As she begins acting irratically, her siblings and her mother begin to take notice. Even her friends that conducted the almost deadly seance begin to avoid her and treat her like she is crazy.
Finally, on the last, fateful night, Veronica wakes up and realizes that she has just gotten her period for the first time. This is when she realizes that there are large black stains underneath her mattress that are in the shape of a large man. Her siblings are asleep, and the monsters that are haunting her are becoming more powerful. Veronica calls the police. As she runs to bring her three siblings outside, she realizes that although she thought she was carrying the youngest in her arms, he isn’t there at all. She tells her twin sisters to go ahead without her and runs back to find him sitting in her bedroom. At this time, their mother sees emergency vehicles driving towards their apartment building and leaves work, running in the rain to reach her family. Investigators arrive and find a horrific sight. The youngest sibling is hiding in a closet while Veronica is partially levitating, screaming, and finally drops to the floor. We later find out, that en route to the hospital, she passes away.
As the detective is inspecting the apartment, he finds a photo of Veronica on the floor, but when he picks it up he gets burned and as it hits the floor, the photo begins to burn.
The True Story
At the beginning of the film, we are told that this movie is inspired by the documents written by a detective who worked a case in a suburb of Madrid in the early 1990s. This was supposedly one of the first cases in Europe to have police claim that they witnessed something paranormal. However, the true story and the one we learn about in Veronica, are very, very different from one another. It seems like the film makers caught wind of the documents and just let their imaginations run wild.
The real-life story goes a little something like this;
In 1992, a young girl by the name of Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro mysteriously died after using an Ouija board, and the case has remained a mystery ever since as the police were never able to crack the case.
Estefania and a small group of friends decided to conduct a seance at their school after their friend’s boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident. When they were interrupted by a teacher, the whole group claimed to see a thick, dark, smoke entering Estefania’s nose and mouth. For six months following the incident, Estefania reportedly suffered from seizures and hallucinations. She claimed to see evil shadows lurking in her room, which convinced her parents that she needed to see a doctor. However, shortly after this, Estefania mysteriously died in the hospital for un-cited causes.
Following her death, her parents claimed that their home became haunted. This was reportedly confirmed by a police report written by the lead detective on the case.
(Please note that the director explained at the Toronto International Film Festival, that he felt free to invent his own story based on these accounts and that he did not see it as a documentary or accurate account in any way)
“It has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, but that’s only with 13 reviews counted. If I was scoring the movie myself I’d probably give it a 6 out of 10, “fresh” but not exactly stunning.” – Forbes (www.forbes.com)
“Another negative is that Veronica is lacking in subtlety and truth — those little details of psychological characterization that make a film not only realistic, but shudderingly real. This is mainly down to Plaza’s wish to drive everything through at breakneck speed and his boyish enthusiasm for jump scares — while the viewer never gets to see how Veronica herself might be feeling about what is happening to her, which keeps her a little too remote.” – The Hollywood Reporter (www.hollywoodreporter.com)
“Our very own Joe Lipsett reviewed Veronica, calling it stylish, albeit familiar, but the film is a solid effort with some pretty effective chills.” – Bloody Disgusting (www.bloody-disgusting.com)
If I am going to be completely honest, the reason why I chose to watch Veronica was because I was seeing all of these clickbait stories online saying it was the “scariest movie ever on Netflix,” and that 99% of viewers had to stop watching half way through because it was too scary. After seeing it myself however… I really can’t say that I agree. Although yes, it was quite scary at parts, as a whole, it really didn’t seem like anything special. As we went through the film, I was hoping they would give us some sort of insight into the true story behind the film, but they never did. Adding that in, would definitely have made it much scarier in my eyes.
I am a horror movie fanatic, and I have watched foreign horror films such as this before, however, I wanted Veronica to give me nightmares. It never did. I slept like a baby the night that I watched this film because it just wasn’t all that scary. Things like the black stains on the mattresses got me pretty good, but I can’t say that it did what the clickbait had claimed it would. I went into this film being pretty skeptical, and I am definitely glad that I did because if I hadn’t… I would be very disappointed in the overall experience that it offered.
So if you are interested in watching Veronica, maybe don’t do it alone, but also be aware that it’s not going to be as scary as all of those promo tweets claimed it was.
Well that’s it for tonight on Nightscrawlers. I hope you liked seeing my take on the new horror movie Veronica. If you’re interested in seeing the film, you can still watch it on both the American and Canadian Netflix. I recommend seeing it for yourself. If you do choose to watch it, please leave a comment down below letting us know what you think.
Until next time… Keep it spooky!