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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 26, 2021



‘VERONICA’ is a Spanish horror flick based on the police files of a celebrated true story in 1991 about a girl named Estefania Lazaro who died after using a ouija board then haunted her own house. 

The film is set in 1991 and starts when their local 911 got a call from a girl who keeps on screaming than something is going to get her brother, then the call is cut off.

The story is then told in flashbacks. Veronica is a 15-year old pretty girl in Madrid living with her single mom, two sisters and one brother in a small apartment. 

Her mom is often out of their home working, so Veronica acts as sitter and caregiver to her siblings. In their school that day, everyone is all agog because there will be a solar eclipse. 

In their class, Veronica’s teacher says some tribes use the eclipse to  call on evil spirits. 

So while the whole school goes on their rooftop to watch, Veronica and her classmates go to their school basement to call on spirits using a ouija board. 

Veronica wants to contact her dead father while another classmate wants to connect with her dead boyfriend who died in an accident.

The glass on the board breaks and cuts Veronica’s finger. Her blood drips on the board and she lets out a chilling scream then loses consciousness.

She then starts encountering sinister experiences at home. 

She cannot even eat but she can hear scary noises and mysterious marks appear on her body.

She returns to the school basement to investigate and she meets an old blind nun who students call Sister Death. 

Veronica is told that the seance they performed caused a dark spirit to attach itself to her and her three siblings are now in danger. 

More strange things happen. She dreams her siblings are eating her and she wakes up in blood. 

It turns out that her menstrual period has arrived. The nun tells her to hold another seance to formally say goodbye to the spirit who stalks her. 

But her classmates will no longer cooperate with her. Instead, she asks her three siblings to do the seance with her. 

It’s easy to conclude that this is another big mistake that will only lead to a more tragic ending for her and the three kids.

The film got much acclaim, became a big hit in Spain and even won awards so there was a big marketing hype when Netflix started to stream this. 

Sandra Escacena does a pretty good job in the title role of Veronica, a much harassed young girl who truly takes good care of her siblings. 

But if you’re an avid horror film aficionado, it’s easy to see that there is nothing in this movie that you have not seen in past horror flicks. 

It’s very formulaic and the tropes used to scare viewers, like the seance scene, the creeping shadows, etc. are all traditional and familiar in the horror genre. 

The film’s writer-director, Paco Plaza (who has previously did the “REC” found footage films), have obviously seen lots and lots of local and horror foreign flicks and he now adopts most of the cliche techniques he had seen before in his own movie. 

But honestly, there’s nothing in it that will surprise a jaded horror fan like us who is no longer easy to scare after watching so many scary films, both local and foreign, that make use of ouija boards and seances as their pegs. 

Even that plot element about Veronica so tired, grieving and having her menstruation as a probable trigger to her visions, well, sorry, but we've seen it all before.