First of all, I need to make a big apology for not being around in the last few months, in the first instance work took over for a while and I wasn’t able to write much and then, of course, the world has taken a massive down turn on a shit covered slide in the form of Coronavirus, which I’m sure you’re all aware of! Working from home and home schooling has taken some getting used to with myself and my better half being key workers but I think I can come back to writing a bit about horror films now for you, especially since I’ve had time to watch a few!
So, that’s the last I’ll bang on about Covid-19 as you hear it pretty much everywhere else, you don’t need it here. Let’s move onto Veronica.
I’ll admit, it wasn’t a movie that I had heard of before and it was only through looking through a list of “best Netflix horror movies” that I found this one at all. Don’t judge me, i’ve watched a load of horror movies on Netflix now and I’m down to ones I’ve not heard of before! Anyway, it sounded interesting as the blurb on Google mentioned supernatural occurrences and I am a bit of a sucker for supernatural films – almost as much as I am for time travel (See my Happy Death Day 2U article for more on that!), so I poured a beer, settled down and popped on Veronica.
Now, I will say that it was soon after this point that I had a bit of a choice to make as it became clear that this was a Spanish film with English subtitles. I’m not averse to foreign films with subtitles but it’s not something I tend to choose very often, usually because of tiredness which is a bit of a drawback to keeping up with the film when you’re falling asleep all over the place! After a quick evaluation, I realised that 8pm armed with beer, was too early even for me to be falling asleep so I carried on and I am so glad I did.
As with all good subtitled films, you actually end up not noticing the subtitles that much as you become immersed in the movie and you actually forget you’re reading them at some and become convinced you can actually understand Spanish and just as you’re thinking you could fluently converse with the locals in Madrid, you realise you’re reading the subtitles. Maybe that’s just me though!
The plot of the film revolves around a young girl by the name of…Veronica! I know, big surprise there, right?! Anyway, Veronica is a young girl of around 16 I would say and she is responsible for essentially looking after her three other siblings whilst her Mother works all hours at a diner/bar. All of this and she is also trying to get her own education in whilst trying her best by her brother and sisters. Already you have you have the template of the downtrodden horror movie character who is just looking for an outlet for all her natural teenage angst coupled with the resentment of her Mother who leaves her to run the household whilst she is either working or sleeping. In this respect the film is somewhat of an ode to all of the child carer’s in this world encountering the same struggles, thoughts and resentment that Veronica is facing.
Naturally, the few friends at school that she does have provide her with a temporary escape from her real world problems and in this case it comes in the form of one of those magazine collections you see advertised on the television that comes in a seemingly never ending number of parts that you can put into folders and keep for posterity. The first issue always seems to be 99p and then about £25 thereafter!! You know the ones I mean. This one is a occult collection of magazines which appears to come with a Ouija board as a free gift in the first issue.
As you may have guessed, Veronica and her two friends hold a seance in a dusty old out-building at their school and are over joyed when they appear to make contact with a spirit. Veronica especially is excited by this as she is desperate to contact her deceased Father whom she was clearly close to before his untimely death. They appear to be having a nice enough time even if the the other two girls are getting a little spooked by the seance but, ultimately, nothing untoward happens here. Now, I know that many of you that are hardcore horror fans will probably realise that in the world of horror, you don’t hold a seance without any consequences and this film is certainly no different.
Following the seance strange things begin to happen to Veronica and her family at her flat and Veronica herself is plagued by horrific dreams and disturbing visions of her father so it’s clear that something out of the ordinary has occurred as a result of the girls seance and it’s up to Veronica to find out exactly what is going on.
I’m not going to reveal any more of the story as I think if you do intend to watch this film, I don’t want to spoil it for you. What I will say is that it is well worth a watch and actually, provides a welcome departure from Netflix’s usual habit of providing English dubbing to foreign films or tv series as they did with Marianne amongst others. Actually providing the subtitles is far less distracting.
This is about as atmospheric a horror movie as one could hope to find in my opinion, the initial story surrounding Veronica’s home life is dealt with well and brings across her angst and resentment perfectly. Everything after the seance scene is also perfectly pitched as the tension is really palpable throughout and you really feel the sense of panic and fear of the family being trapped in their small apartment being terrorised by an invisible fiend. I was intrigued throughout and it really drew me in from a really early point. I’m always a little apprehensive about watching films from best film lists as they are always really subjective but this one was an absolute gem and I would have zero hesitation in recommending this as a film to watch for anyone who loves a bit of supernatural horror as much as I do.
The actors and actresses in this movie really bring the story to life as there are some really good performances throughout and some genuinely heartwarming bits as well as genuinely funny parts as well. Veronica in particular is portrayed really well and you really believe her character and the challenges she faces. Veronica as a whole is one of those movies that really benefits from there being nobody in it that you know because then you aren’t preoccupied with the performance of one big actor or another and you can just settle down and concentrate on the story being told which really is what movies are all about, stories.
I shall be doing my best to come back a bit more regularly and do some reviews of films that I have watched during lock-down so I look forward to writing here again soon and, as ever, if you do watch Veronica, please don’t forget to leave some comments about what you thought of it.