All tagged foreign

Veronica Review (Film, 2018)

On paper, Veronica has no right to be as good as it is. The plot description is riddled with horror cliches, including the dreaded "based on a true story" text. There's even a marketing campaign for its Netflix release about how people are turning it off because it's too scary to finish (at least a dozen of those articles popped up shortly after the release, and more followed--it's purely advertising, and it’s good).

It's a horror film about a teenage girl, immature for her age, attending a Catholic school and caring for her siblings while her single working mother runs a bar to keep everyone afloat. The girl decides to use a Ouija board to summon the spirit of her dead father and unleashes a living hell on her family instead. Complete with creepy stern nuns, rampant hormones, mysterious cuts and bruises, and not one, not two, but three significantly younger children who are equally creepy as they are cute, and you should have, in 2018, a mess.

Verónica Review (Film, 2017)

Verónica is a psychological horror film from directors Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran and screenwriters Carlos Algara and Tomas Nepomuceno. It is a familiar story told with beautiful style and precise editing. 

A psychologist takes on a new patient, the titular Verónica, who is referred to her by another doctor who cannot complete the treatment. The psychologist and her new patient work together in a remote home in the woods, sharing a living space between therapy sessions. Something is clearly wrong with Verónica, a young woman with horrific nightmares that lead her to sexual desire and longing when she wakes up. The problem is the psychologist cannot get her hands on Verónica's previous case files. She's starting from square one on a patient who clearly has a history of treatment, and that patient will use her knowledge to manipulate, confuse, and terrify the doctor as much as possible in our out of therapy sessions.

Skins Review (Film, 2018)

Content Warning: Skins is an anthology film where many stories intersect around sexual abuse.

Skins (Pieles) is the debut feature length film from writer/director Eduardo Casanova. He is an actor turned director who called on every resource he had--namely a phenomenal group of actors he had performed with before--to craft an ambitious film.

Skins is an anthology film about people with physical deformities trying to find respect in a world that casts them aside. It's also a film about people who fetishize physical deformities. These worlds intersect around a brothel specializing in any kind of person you want.

Revenge Review (Film, 2018)

Warning: the film Revenge and this review contain depictions and discussions of rape and violence against women.

I started going into a certain subgenre of horror with my review of Split on Monday, but backed away because the problematic element of Split that really set me off is such a small part of the film (literally one flashback scene) that it seemed a disservice to a true critical analysis to go into it then. I needed to look at other texts. I needed to spend the time to evaluate the film in a more modern context, something I haven't been particularly keen on in recent years.

That subgenre of film is the rape and revenge film and, by the nature of the subject, there's a lot to unpack. These films stem from the exploitation film in the 1960s, a wide-spanning category of cinema driven by budget and screening venue as much as content. A certain audience existed to see both the heinous acts of violence and the fallout and repercussions against the perpetrators. These films are still made today, and the best among them examine a truly disturbing style of film with a critical lens; the worst mindlessly copy what they've seen before with nothing new to say.