Veronica is a film loosely based off the real-life story of Estefanía Gutiérrez Lázaro after her use of an Ouija Board. Veronica, a 15-year-old girl living in Madrid with her 3 younger siblings and single mother, plans a Séance with 2 friends during a solar eclipse. The results of which lead her to believe an ill-intentioned presence now threatens her. Exceptional in its pacing, Veronica slowly draws you down the rabbit hole with an ever-growing sense of dread. Clever camerawork and impeccable sound complete this film and when the cast of characters are both written and played this well. It results in an immersive and genuinely terrifying experience.
I love horror movies. Both in practice and in concept the genre fascinates me, as does the idea of experiencing fear for entertainment’s sake. I think that this review might end up biased based on how many movies fall short where Veronica triumphs. Perhaps I am in the minority but it’s almost commonplace how desensitized you can become to absurd levels of gore and violence with the advent of modern filmmaking, and jump scares quickly end up predictable the more time you spend in front of the silver screen. There’s something to be appreciated from the use of subtlety and patience in a horror film and Veronica capitalizes on it in seemingly every scene. There is hardly any fat on this film and every shot is either directly progressing the plot or evoking a sense of dread with little details and premonitions which are tucked away into more scenes than not. The Characters, while not overly complex, are all well written and more importantly played professionally by everyone involved. This is especially noticeable in the acting abilities of Veronica’s younger siblings, as they add to the immersive depth of the movie rather than distract from it. The leading lady herself, Sandra Escacena does especially well at characterizing an increasingly convincing feeling of dread, paranoia, and restlessness which grips unto me the viewer with vice-like engagement. The latter is worth noting considering the movie’s run time of 105 minutes which absolutely does not feel its length. Veronica takes a genuinely chilling stab at the horror genre. It doesn’t make any grand leaps of faith or take genre changing risks. Instead, it uses its source material effectively, capitalizes on the devilish details woven into its cinematography, coupled with a solid cast of young actors. This film is a nightmare come true.