2

Let's start with the obvious fact - "Veronica" is the biggest Horror movie news of the month. When it showed up on netflix on February 26, "Veronica" received rave reviews - The Mirror wondered if it was the scariest movie ever, and The Express called it a 'horror movie so terrifying audiences have to SWITCH OFF.'

Clearly, the movie opened to great expectations. One might even call them unfair expectations. In the interest of this article, (and because he loves horror movies, even "Pari," starring Anushka Sharma) the author sat down and watched "Veronica," and jotted down a movie review.

Verdict?

Well, before I delve into whether I thought I liked it or not, let me state for the record — a horror movie thumb rule of mine - most good horror movies are rated between 6.1 ("Grave Encounters") and 7.5 ("The Orphanage", "Suspiria", "[REC]", "The Conjuring") on IMDB.

Anything over 7.5 (with a few exceptions like "Get Out," "The Shining," and "The Innocents") is likely to be too atmospheric or philosophical to terrify the viewer truly.

Anything less than 6.1 is, honestly, just not good (exceptions include "The Atticus Institute" (5.5)). Within those bounds, "Veronica" is a 6.3, comfortably ensconced between "Lights Out" and "The Visit," both good examples of simple, effective horror.

The movie itself, though, is underwhelming. The lead actress Sandra Escacena gives the role her everything and displays a maturity far beyond her sixteen years. The millennials are taking over, and they're not kidding around. Indeed, Escacena carries the movie on her slender shoulders, without much support from the rest of the cast, whose role is essentially that of stock characters to push the story forward.

The themes tackled in the story - paternal longing, alienation in a group of friends, and the uncertainty, and to an extent, the horror, of puberty ("Carrie," anyone?) are all handled deftly, and without the obnoxious bluntness of mainstream Hollywood.

Indeed, the director Paco Plaza, whose résumé includes the first three [REC] movies, is still at the top of his game and remains one of the most creative horror directors out there.

And yet... "Veronica" is weighed down by the hype. Had I discovered this movie on my own, without the shrill prompting of the internet, I might have enjoyed it, the way I enjoyed "Home Movie," "The Atticus Institute," and "Oculus" (probably one of the most ingenious horror movies out there).

So... Do I watch it?

"Veronica" is well-made and well-meaning, but it is hampered by a story that gets stuck within itself, and is never quite sure whether to go for dramatic effect or to remain true to its (somewhat real) roots.

Far from being the scariest movie ever, I don't think "Veronica" is the scariest Spanish language film I've seen. For atmospheric horror and a good story, watch "The Orphanage." For jump scares, watch "[REC]."

For creepy nuns, just be patient and wait for... you know what movie I'm talking about.