Veronica has got it rough all over; since her father died her mother has to work mega long hours leaving V-dawg in charge of her young siblings…when she isn’t attending classes at the local Catholic school that is. Speaking of that school, Veronica and two of her friends get the absolutely dip-shit idea to head down into the building’s basement during a solar eclipse to use a Ouija board to contact their dead loved ones. This goes about as well as one would expected and Veronica suffers some sort of physical episode. This leads to an outre presence making itself known at her home that threatens to destroy Veronica and her entire family. Will our young heroine be able to force those ghost back into whatever nether hell they emerged from, or will she lose herself to the darkness?
Veronica is an interesting film for a number of reasons, and this may come a surprise given how familiar the story seems. The tale of a young girl farting around with a spirit board and fucking up her life via ghostly shenanigans is about as overdone a concept as you can find in our beloved horror biz, yet there’s something about the presentation of said cliche here that makes it incredibly watchable. Part of the credit must be given to actress Sandra Escacena as the eponymous Veronica; she’s a caring, likable protagonist in a sad situation, and we as an audience embrace her early on making us actually care about her as she falls deeper into a nightmare of supernatural terror, and Escacena remains completely believable throughout no matter how outlandish the situations she finds herself in. Speaking of that terror, the ghosts themselves are a rather cool lot to behold…basically shadow forms that are full of menace as each of their appearances leads to more and more tension leading to an all out paranormal assault. Also of note are the film’s score; a nice blend of synth and more traditional orchestration which nicely illustrates the clashing worlds of teenage youth and otherworldly dread, and the character of ‘Sister Death’, a blind, chain smoking nun that counsels Veronica in her battle against the unknown…a great character played to perfection by Consuelo Trujillo. But with all of that positively comes a great big eerie elephant to come storming through the room…and that elephant is the film’s marketing.
Veronica has the distinction of being marketed as “ZOMG the scariest F’n fright film ever yo!” or something to that effect…regardless, the Netflix (I should mention the film is a Netflix exclusive…and it’s also subtitled if that matters to you) marketing machine has played this one up to the ever-lovin’ hilt. To the surprise of absolutely no one, I must tell you that Veronica isn’t the scariest horror movie ever. Sure it has some creepy elements, and the fact that kids are in danger makes it more nail-biting than if it was some thirty year olds, it doesn’t feature anything more than the usual jump-scares, and mounting campfire-story dread that most films of this ilk present…and of course it just has to have that ‘based on a true story’ tag slapped on there for extra goosebumps. Don’t get me wrong, Veronica is a damn fine lil’ fright flick, but it ain’t the be all and end all in never ending relentless terror that you may be lead to believe.
To put a beastly bow on it; Veronica is a fun supernatural yarn lead by an excellent cast and featuring some cool scares here and there. I would definitely recommend it, especially for those that love supposedly true tales of terror, as well as those that dig on the popular Ouija/possessed teen subgenre.