Brooklyn Horror Film Fest Review: Veronica
Directors: Carlos Algara & Alejandro Martinez Beltran
Writer: Carlos Algara & Tomas Nepomuceno
Stars: Arcelia Ramirez, Olga Segura, Sofia Garza
Hailing from Mexico, Veronica celebrates it’s U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. A small, quiet, intellectual film that takes you by surprise, it focuses on a retired psychologist and her troubled patient.
Despite claiming that no amount of money can get her out of retirement, the psychologist (Arcelia Ramirez) acquiesces when she learns that Veronica (Olga Segura) was a patient of her former teacher who has since mysteriously vanished. Living in a remote cabin, the psychologist agrees to take Veronica on as a client only if she agrees to stay with her so she can monitor her behavior at all times.
Filmed in black and white, Veronica is a cat and mouse game between two strong willed women. As the two ladies fight for psychological dominance over one another, they also try to uncover each other’s secrets and past traumas. Suffering from an eye condition, the psychologist maintains a dimly lit house and she even grows mushrooms in her shed out back. In fact, mushrooms seem to play very deeply into this mystery as does the novel The Last Sin Eater and Plato’s allegory of the cave. All of these heady philosophical and mythological clues would seem to point to a uniquely deep and complex film, but at times Veronica gets lost in it’s own maze of varied symbolic clues and a psychosexual storyline that doesn’t quite add up.
Directors Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez Beltran have crafted a beautifully bare bones film that walks the line of noir and horror. Though the film’s ending feels a bit gimmicky, the delicious combination of simple, yet beautiful, cinematography with the strong performances allows you to overlook this minor flaw. Veronica is wonderful reminder that less is more and the human mind is often times the trickiest and scariest terrain to navigate.
Viewed as part of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont
Images: Brooklyn Horror Film Fest