Based on a real criminal case from 1991, VERONICA is the story of a girl besieged by a demon only she could see, and her desperate efforts to protect her family. Growing up too quickly 16 year old Veronica has to look after her two young sisters and a baby brother. Her father is deceased and her mother is constantly at work, sleeping in late after the night shift. They live in a derelict apartment block, but the apartments are large and oddly shaped, which adds to the creepy settings when the story gets dark.
Trying to reach out to her dead father Veronica and her two best friends arrange a séance with a Ouija board. Coinciding with the solar eclipse their game turns dangerous when something “from the other side” seems to slip in to our world. As things start spiralling out of control Veronica tries to do what she does best – keep her family together by any mean possible. But is that new challenge just too hard to bear?
The cult director of Spanish horror cinema Fernando Navarro (REC movies), returns to his horror roots after the second sequel to the REC franchise was more of a comedy than horror. There’s no hint of humour in VERONICA, where the the light and the detail are so real you can almost smell the dusty city the characters live in. An electronic soundtrack is reminiscent of the films of the eighties and the monstrous creatures that inhabit the film are always a little out of focus, out of sight, as if no matter how hard we try we can only see them from the corner of our eye.
VERONICA re-invents jump scares, making them effective again, and there are a few in the film. The simplicity of the story is its strongest point. Plot-wise Veronica does not have much going for it – there’s nothing new for those who had seen Conjuring and Insidious movies. But what it lacks in originality in replenishes in heaps by the authenticity and the atmosphere.
VERONICA could have been something truly special if it was created in post-Conjuring world. As it is, the movie is a curious horror piece from Spain that is convincing, solidly made and very scary.