The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about some of the films that played there! For example, I’m about to talk about the Mexican film, Veronica. All you have to do is read! Let’s get into it!
A retired psychologist living in seclusion in a cabin is convinced to take on the case of, Veronica, a troubled young woman who’s been referred by the psychologist’s former mentor. Veronica’s case is so unique that the psychologist agrees to have her live in the cabin while she is undergoing therapy. An unconventional approach to be sure. When Veronica arrives, it quickly becomes apparent that she presents a challenging case to the doctor. Finding the right approach to get Veronica to open up will take time. And the more time the two spend together in the cabin, the more entangled their lives get. And the more Veronica opens up, the more we learn about her tragic and horrific history.
Veronica is beautifully shot in rich black and white. Presumably, it is used to visually cue the reader into the isolation that the characters are experiencing in the remote cabin. Or to reinforce the idea that the psychologist is mining the past to treat present-day Veronica. Or both. Whatever the case, it’s engrossing and well-suited to the story. The film has a lot to offer beyond the cinematography though. The two leads play their roles perfectly. Their interactions are strained and believable. And the film effectively builds tension and maintains an intriguing dynamic between its main characters throughout. Unfortunately, that relationship pulls a lot of the weight of the film. Indeed, if the complex interactions between these two women do not hold your interest, then the whole film collapses under that weight. I found myself impatiently guessing at what was to come next (correctly in most cases) throughout the film. I wanted just a little bit more conflict with the tension. And tension is really all the film has to offer besides implied horror in flashback form. Horror purists (what does that mean?) may not really classify this as horror at all. It’s a psycho-sexual relationship drama with loads of tension but very little terror. That doesn’t preclude it from being enjoyed by genre enthusiasts. It just may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Which, in the long run, isn’t a dealbreaker because the same can be said of every film.
The Final Cut: Veronica is a beautifully shot film that is thick with tension but very little peril or horror. Great performances prop up the somewhat predictable plot.