Director Paco Plaza has more than a proven track record in genre cinema. From REC To Grandmotherthe director explored the darkest places of the genre. But if there’s one thing that sets him apart, it’s his knack for the avant-garde. Veronica, based on the famous Vallecas case, which involves the death of a teenager after an alleged possession, surprised the public and critics. In particular, for the new treatment of cultural references and the protagonist’s environment. create a claustrophobic and unsettling atmosphere.

But the film goes beyond depicting the apparent supernatural events that took place in Madrid. So it has its own low-key mythology. Part of this Narcissa’s sister (Consuelo Trujillo), a troubled blind nun with psychic powers who tries to help Veronica (Sandra Escasena). It is precisely this figure that is explored in the director’s new feature film. Death of a sister, now available on Netflix, a unique but effective blend of religious and supernatural horror, is ambitious and more developed than its predecessor. It is also more prone to a type of fear based on conventional genre film tropes. So Paco Plaza leaves behind some of his narrative experimentation and visual work to create his most classic work yet.

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Death of a sister

“Sister Death” by Paco Plaza explores the universe proposed by the film “Veronica” from the very beginning. The story takes place in rural Spain, at the height of the Civil War and repression. This time, evil is not only a creature, but also the context that surrounds it. The director turns religious terror into questions about faith, conscience and the afterlife. And also about the origin of primitive fear of the unknown. Which is highlighted by an outstanding and smart visual section.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Death of a sister It’s half based on a comic book that the director included in the Blu-ray edition of Veronica. With El Torres on the script and Juan Francisco Martinez Borges in charge of the art, the comic expands on what was already said in the film. Namely, Narcissus’ sister is the only one who has the psychic sensitivity to understand possession, because she has encountered an evil entity before. But aside from his origins as a character, which are carefully described, The film’s interest lies in the religious sphere.

A secret that lurks in the shadows

Jorge Guerricachevarria’s story delves into the rich collection of legends of haunted monasteries and abbeys in Europe. From the first scenes of the plot, it is obvious that horror based on symbols of devotion plays an important role. However, rather than overdoing it like Michael Chavez’s The Nun 2 does, the story plays with subtlety. So the camera travels through corridors and passages in the dark, under arches and cloisters, carrying a clear message. Evil dwells at the center of faith. To this we must add the context surrounding the story, in the midst of the Civil War and very close to the specter of real violence.

Despite this, Death of a sister He avoids reviewing Spanish history or letting period-related moments overshadow the true focus of the plot. It is true that it combines the possibility of human horror – war, death and destruction – with another type of horror that coexists in the shadows. Paco Plaza never ceases to recall childhood nightmares with sculptures of saints with glass eyes or huge wooden crucifixes. In fact, much of the production has an ominous atmosphere to it. a nightmare, with walls that seem to bend or giant windows.

The film, more focused on creating paranormal tension, is based on the basic idea. Religion and its images, beliefs and appeals can also be distorted. But despite Nun— with which he agrees on several points — Plaza’s feature film is a smart reimagining of an evil entity. The one who shows himself with caution, who hides in recesses and darkness. Narcissa’s sister (Aria Bedmar) does not understand the nature of faith or her psychic abilities. So, the events he will have to face are so confusing and terrible, regardless of their origin. Whether they come from God, nature or the devil, they are equally terrible for her.

“Sister Death” – visual luxury

With a vintage feel reminiscent of the films of Dario Argento and, in some ways, the elegant horror of the 1960s, the film is a narrative treat. But it’s also visually true. A film that combines found footageshots from unusual angles and rare air restored footage (with a secret), which gives it a certain personality.

If Paco Plaza innovated in the rest of his films, including modern rock soundtracks in Spanish and themes such as growing old from a scary perspective, he does the same here. Only that the innovation lies in how to present supernatural phenomena. A force that Narcissa will encounter and that will overwhelm her with experience and strength.

Death of a sister, perhaps one of the historical and terrible works of the year. It is also a good example of the development of European genre cinema towards a more auteurist direction and the use of its rich historical context. His greatest triumph.

Source: Hiper Textual

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