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Film / Veronica

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Veronica (original title: Verónica) is a 2017 Spanish horror film directed by Paco Plaza (one of the two creators of the [REC] series) and distributed by Netflix. The plot is very loosely based on the backstory of the "Vallecas Case", an alleged 1992 poltergeist in Madrid reputed to be the only time in Spanish history where a police officer claimed to witness paranormal activity in his intervention report.

The titular character, Veronica, is a 15-year-old working class girl who plays with an Ouija Board at school during a total eclipse in 1991. While her first intention is to contact her recently deceased father, an unknown evil hears her instead and starts manifesting in her home, where it endangers her and her little siblings.


Veronica contains examples of:

  • The '90s: The movie takes place in 1991.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Inverted. The entity first takes the shape of Veronica's father, which is unsettling because he is dead and appears completely naked. It then morphs into its true form, which is even more unsettling.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Veronica's call to emergency services. She can't describe what is happening, just scream for help and that "it" is coming for her siblings.
  • Artistic License – History: There was no total solar eclipse in Spain in 1991.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The movie ends with stills of the movie itself made to look like early 90s photographs. Combine that with the claims of the plot being Based on a True Story and it's clearly geered to make viewers believe they are photographs from the real case.
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  • Big Sister Instinct: Veronica takes case of the house and her siblings in the absence of her mother and her priority is to protect them from the entity. This includes trying to commit suicide when she realizes she's been possessed and used to hurt her siblings herself.
  • Blind Seer: Subverted by "Sister Death", who is blind but can "see" the presence following Veronica. However, she claims she could always see such beings and made herself blind in an unsuccessful attempt to make herself unable.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: The entity is invisible to everyone except Veronica and Sister Death.
  • The Cassandra: Played with. Nobody believes Veronica and blames her for most incidents, but she doesn't act in a way she could be believed and she is indeed responsible for some of the acts as a result of being possessed.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The police arrive when Veronica is being symbolically violated by the entity and can do nothing but watch and take her to a hospital after she collapses. She then dies at the hospital.
  • Creepy Child:
    • Veronica's siblings start devouring her during a Nightmare Sequence.
    • Antoñito slips into this when he talks of meeting his deceased father.
  • Demonic Possession: The evil entity (which may or may not be a demon) takes control of Veronica and uses her to hurt her siblings.
  • Downer Ending: Veronica is stopped from committing suicide (ironically, by the entity itself) but dies of her injuries at the hospital.
  • Driven to Suicide: Veronica tries to slash her throat when she realizes she's been hurting her siblings while being possessed by the entity.
  • The Faceless: After dropping its first guise as Verónica's father, the entity takes the shape of a black humanoid with no features. Its skin looks like it was burnt to a crisp.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Veronica's father is seen first on the TV's reflection after Veronica turns it off.
    • The deer in the hunting painting disappears near the end of the film.
  • Foreshadowing: Every time something happened to her siblings, Veronica got blamed somehow. This ends being the truth: she was possessed and was the one hurting them.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Antoñito claims to have been visited by his (dead) father and that he said he will take him to "where he is now".
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The entity wears no clothes, even when it takes the form of Veronica's father.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Veronica is forced to take care of the home and her siblings while being scared/threatened by her own developing womanhood.
  • Harmful to Minors: All the victims of the entity are minors and several scenes with them evoke sexual abuse.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Veronica draws Viking protective charms for her sisters and handles a crucifix in an attempt to stop the entity. This is both inverted and subverted: The charms are the ones that burn when the entity touches them, and the crosses fail to stop it.
  • How We Got Here: The movie starts with the police receiving Veronica's frantic call and rushing to her home.
  • Human Popsicle: Downplayed. Veronica becomes "frozen" when she is eating with her siblings, but only in the metaphorical sense.
  • Human Sacrifice: Referenced during the class preceding the eclipse. The Ouija session has shades of this, as Veronica bleeds on the board after the glass explodes and cuts her. And of course, Veronica dies after being tormented by the entity.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: Veronica has a nightmare where her hungry siblings start eating her.
  • Incest Subtext: The entity takes the shape of Veronica's parents and its attack are reminiscent of sexual assault.
  • Irony: In a particularly cruel example, Sister Death's attempt to rid herself of her second sight by blinding herself made this her only kind of sight.
  • It Won't Turn Off: Early on, the TV starts on its own while the children sleep.
  • Man on Fire: The entity's recurring shape looks like a man burned to a crisp.
  • Mirror Monster/The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Veronica's mirror reflection doesn't match her which reveals that she's possessed, or if you go with the "it was all on her head" explanation, just shows her in the state she really is.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Veronica has two nightmares. In one, she sees her (naked) father calling to her and morphing into the entity. In the other, her siblings eat her flesh while her mother tells her to "grow up" before her hand morphs into the entity's and reaches for her crotch.
  • Mistaken For Crazy: Both Veronica and Sister Death are taken for insane... but maybe they really are.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • One retelling of the "Vallecas Case" claims that Estefanía (Veronica) was trying to contact a boyfriend who had died in a biking accident, but this is not true. In the movie, the third girl (Diana) is said to have a boyfriend who died in such way.
    • The name Veronica was likely lifted from another Urban Legend that was popular in 1990s Spain, a version of the Bloody Mary story where the name of the entity was Veronica and she could be summoned by saying it three times.
  • No Periods, Period: Veronica is yet to have her first period despite being 15, which makes the school nurse suggest she has an iron defficiency. She ends having it while being "visited" by the entity.
  • Nuns Are Spooky: Veronica and her siblings attend a religious school run by nuns. The spookiest is an old blind nun called 'Sister Death' by the children.
  • Ouija Board: The entity is summoned when Veronica and two school mates play with one during a solar eclipse.
  • Parental Neglect: Veronica accuses her mother of this. To keep supporting her family, she works so much she only comes back by the time her kids are asleep and leaves before they wake up, essentially never seeing them and forcing Veronica to step up to be their substituted mother rather than their sister.
  • Poltergeist: Objects fall and burn without apparent cause, both before and after the entity takes shape.
  • Protective Charm: Veronica draws Viking protection charms in her sisters's bedroom, and tells Antoñito to draw them on the walls while she resumes the Ouija session with her sisters.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Near the end, Veronica breaks the bathroom mirror when she sees her altered reflection.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The entity's attacks are reminiscent of sexual abuse.
  • Real After All: Although The Twist all but sets that Veronica is having a psychotic break, when the police arrive they find her levitating and bending backwards. After she dies, her photograph burns spontaneously.
  • Say My Name:
    • The entity repeats Veronica's name while in the shape of her father. This is the only time it talks.
    • Veronica tells Antoñito to cover his ears and call her if he sees the entity. She finds him in a closet, repeating "Vero" over and over.
  • Spontaneous Combustion: The entity burns the Protective Charms that Veronica places on her sisters bedroom, and leaves burning marks on several objects without setting them on fire. At the end, Veronica's photograph burns while a detective watches it, despite no source of fire visible.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: When Veronica falls unconscious after playing with the Ouija, she whispers some lines that she doesn't remember later.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The third act reveals that Veronica's actions don't match what she sees as a result of being possessed.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Veronica looks for ways to fight the entity in an Occult-themed magazine.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The girls play with the Ouija board during a solar eclipse, which is claimed to open a door to the paranormal sphere.
  • Twist Ending: Veronica realizes that it's her who has been hurting her siblings. Because of being possessed by the entity...
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Veronica tells Antoñito to draw Viking protective charms from an Occult encyclopedia but he turns the page and draws a Satanic invocation symbol, unaware of its meaning.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: It is best to say that the movie is inspired by the Vallecas Case (or its already mythologized backstory), rather than actually based on it.
    • Estefanía Gutiérrez (basis of Verónica) played with the Ouija one year before her death, in 1990.
    • The recent death preceding events was Estefanía's grandfathernote , not her father. Both mother and father lived with the children at the time. They had six children instead of four and they were closer to Estefanía in age.
    • The incident(s) that brought police to the home happened months to a year after Estefanía's death, not on the same night.
  • With Friends Like These...: Veronica's friend and Diana become this as they distance themselves away from her. Diana mainly due to being selfish and Veronica's friend due to being spooked by the fact she spoke that she would die on the day of the eclipse.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Veronica's friend reveals that Veronica said she would die that date when she was first possessed. And she was right.