Veronica (2017)

  • Gist: Spanish horror film about a teenage girl, saddled with caring for younger siblings because her single mother works late, who experiences scary stuff after trying to reach her dead dad in a seance.
  • Truthiness: Claims to be true (of course), but is a much better story than the event it’s loosely based on.
  • Symbolicalness: Good horror stories are really about things other than what’s on screen, terrible things we all could face ensconced in archetypal symbols, like demons, monsters, and mothers-in-law. Veronica keeps the ambiguity of psycho-spiritual reality balanced on a big, shiny knife’s edge.
  • Actiness: Mostly teens and children, the cast are believable, likable, and sympathetic.
  • Scariness: Some unsettling moments, especially child endangerment. Not grotesque or macabre.
  • Nuns: What makes old nuns so disturbing? Do Catholic school kids all have a latent fear of nuns?
  • Hype: British tabloids and Netflix claim Veronica is super-scary and people walk out on it. Sure.
  • Conclusion: See it if you like slow-build horror and psycho-thrillers.