From Argentina comes Gonzalo Calzada’s (“Resurrection”, “Luisa”) latest film, Luciferina, a horror film about a girl who sees auras.
Luciferina starts out with a lot of promise, the writing and directing are down to earth, it feels like a horror film that’s going to have an actual story to tell, with actual characters, not just some girls in cut-off jeans running around in the woods.
However, the promising start doesn’t last and, whilst it does take a while, mainly down to just how long the film is (and feels), Luciferina does descend into a film that tries to shock with gore, girls writhe around in cut-off denim jeans and there’s plenty of nudity, most of which feels for the sake of it.
Natalia, Sofia Del Tuffo (“I Will Wait For You”, “Interlude”), is told to go home by the mother superior with news that her own mother has passed away. Natalia doesn’t want to leave the convent but the ‘supes not having any of it.
On her return home she is reunited with her sister Angela, Malena Sanchez (“Tuya”, “Arrebato”), who’s all rebellious and with some dick of a boyfriend. She finds out that her father is in the attic, surrounded by their mother’s bizarre paintings of uterus’s, refusing to speak. Angela is convinced that something was going on with the pair of them and wants to head out to see a Shaman to uncover the truth.
Together with a bunch of friends, who are just fodder really, and Abel, Pedro Merlo (“The Colony”, “Aire Libre”), a shy friend of her sisters, Natalia and co. head off to see this Shaman in the middle of nowhere.
What follows is the group drinking some plant-based hallucinogenic drink and, when Natalia and Abel awake, they find things have gone very, very wrong.
There’s blood, gore, eyeballs and lack of, nudity and a few scenes of girls running and then falling over, oh, and a mysterious old woman with a big pointy stick.
Luciferina had plenty of promise, the opening quarter of the movie really feels like things are being set up beautifully. Natalia’s strange gift occurs but is never mentioned or dwelt on and you feel something really good is going to happen.
Actually, what happens, is that Natalie reveals to Abel that her gift doesn’t really do anything except enable her to see the good, or bad, in people, lots of people die, most of which you don’t see, and about five times within the last hour or so, you think (pray) the film is going to end but it just keeps going and going and going.
It’s a real shame as I so wanted to like Luciferina. I think Del Tuffo, Merlo and Sanchez all perform wonderfully and Calzada is adept as a director, if not a tad predictable at times, but he can ramp up the tension.
He just doesn’t seem to be able to stop the clichés from happening, or seem to know the old adage “less is more”.