Young novice nun Natalia (Sofia Del Tuffo) makes a journey back to her family home to visit her ailing father, the victim of a vicious attack by her seemingly possessed (now deceased) mother. Once there she finds her hot A.F. sister and her degenerate friends have taken up residence on the lower level of the house. Speaking of those friends, one of them looks like he’s the lead singer in a Harvey Danger cover-band…seriously, just look at this flagpole sitta…
Anyway, while those reprobates are squatting on the lower level of the house, while Natalia’s father lie bandaged and in shock in a weird angled attic surrounded by nightmarish paintings. Soon Natalia accompanies her sister’s friends on a trek deep into the jungle to find a drug that supposedly cures the soul, but in turn releases the darkness within causing Natalia to face the duality of her family’s past as well as her very existence…a virginal holy woman, and a pawn in the machinations of the devil himself!
Luciferina comes across as a modern Gothic in the first half, with it’s chaste young heroine wandering a familial estate full of dark and seemingly supernatural secrets, and it’s fever dream imagery, before delving into a cross between Altered States and Alucarda…in other words it’s a fearless, if disjointed, narrative that delivers on slow burn suspense, glorious Satanic imagery, drug influenced hallucinations, and sumptuous aesthetics. Also on hand are uterus images; Natalia’s pendant, the pose of a woman nailed to a tree, et.al, as well as the allegory of the maiden (Natalia), the mother (dual, as both Natalia and her deceased mother fill that role), and the crone (the mysterious woman outside of an abandoned church where the shaman does his thing)…which all add to a sense of rich mythology and world building that makes the story of Natalia seem the stuff of legend (and most importantly to your’s cruelly; ’70’s occult paperbacks).
On the downside, this film runs a tad too long. While being an ultimately effective slow burn leading to some thing truly outrageous; the journey there could have easily been excised of fifteen to twenty minutes, especially in the latter part o the film as Natalia and her potential love interest Abel (Pedro Merlo) have seemingly interminable and repetitious interactions.
Bottom line, if you are looking for a great (if slightly long winded) Satanic shocker that manages to satisfy that craving for ’70’s style occult thrills, then Luciferina will fit the beastly bill nicely!