Horror Movie Review: Veronica (2017)

Veronica is a Spanish supernatural horror directed by Paco Plaza & co-written with Fernando Navarro. Set in Madrid during the summer of 1991, it stars Sandra Escacena as Verónica. A teenage girl dealing with the recent death of her father. Her mother is working long hours to support the family while Verónica cares for her three younger siblings.

Missing her father, she decides to play Ouija with her friends at the Catholic school they attend. While their classmates and teachers are on the school’s rooftop watching a solar eclipse, the trio head to the basement & attempt to contact Verónica’s father.

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Unsurprisingly the session goes wrong and something happens to Verónica. She wakes up in the nurses’ office & decides to hide what happened.

Later that night though odd events begin to happen at home. Things that are unexplainable & Verónica begins to suspect that it might be a ghost. As things get worse, she suspects that the spirit inside might be out to get her siblings. So she seeks help from an elderly blind nun at her school.

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Realising that they never said goodbye during the Ouija session, thus closing the connection, Verónica desperately tries to right the wrong. But is it already too late?

Veronica has created a huge amount of buzz recently being described as one the scariest movies ever. That’s a hefty amount of expectation so it should come as no surprise that it doesn’t live up to it.

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Not living up to that level of expectation isn’t the problem. It’s not fair to the movie to judge it on that. What is fair though is to judge it on what it provides and what it gives is disappointing, bland & dragged out.

Let’s make this clear right away. Veronica is not a bad film, it’s well-shot, has a great soundtrack that is utilised well & has some great performances. As modern paranormal horrors go, it’s far from a bad film. It puts many others within the genre to shame.

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However, it’s so unoriginal that if you didn’t know you could easily be led to believe that this is the third entry in something like The Conjuring series. Everything plays out exactly as you might expect & only cursory attention is needed to understand the subtle references to teenage changes. Not a twist really but a development that at least lifts the movie out of the mediocre slump it hits by this stage.

The question most will want answered though is simple. Is Veronica a scary movie? No. No it is not. It’s jump-scare heavy & the subtler stuff has been done so many times before it’s not effective. Shadows in the darkness, reflected figures in the TV, doors creaking open slowly, toys activating by themselves…sound familiar?

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If that’s your favourite kind then you’ll likely enjoy Veronica as it ticks all the right boxes for paranormal horror. However, after the initial excitement has died down most will reflect on what they’ve just seen & realise that it was a mostly forgettable experience.




Veronica
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