Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Verónica

My notes on Verónica


A black-and-white Mexican drama, essentially a two-hander, in which troubled Verónica de la Serna (Olga Segura) comes to the isolated home of a psychiatrist (Arcelia Ramirez) for an intense course of the talking therapy.  From the first, the intense patient is unwilling to lie back on the couch and take her medicine – and deflects the therapist’s questions with her own.  It’s soon a moot point as to whose demons are being exorcised (or not).  Veronica is also keen on finding out what’s going on in a padlocked shed where we’ve seen the shrink indulging in bizarre processes involving a power drill, a tree-trunk, boiling wax and tube-like fungoid substances.  And there’s some delving into the inevitable, and predictable childhood trauma … plus the possibility that there’s a corpse in the bath.  Directed by Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran and scripted by Algara and Tomas Nepomuceno, this has a few tricks up its sleeve – some fairly guessable, others out of left field – and has a lush look and solid performances going for it, though it’s rather a basic, shallow psycho-drama.  The clash of wills eventually turns into an ethics-breaching lesbian affair, though there’s a lot of talk about masturbation and child abuse to give pointers to carefully-timed revelations about what’s going on here and the murky backstory involving Veronica’s mother (Sofia Garza) and her mushroom recipes.



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