lands on Prime Video an uncomfortable reflection of the director of ‘Veronica’ about very everyday horrors

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Released two months ago (let’s get used to these increasingly scarce windows, much more so when the platform, as in this case, has participated in the production to a greater or lesser extent), this unique reflection by Paco Plaza lands exclusively on Prime Video about a horror as daily and inescapable as that of the passage of time, in its less correct version. Illness, old age, dependency: all this is flown over by an aesthetically impeccable film that is partially alien to the current currents of genre cinema.

‘La granny’ tells the story of a young model who works in Paris (excellent Almudena Amor, who is already standing out with very few films in her filmography) but who has to quickly return to Madrid when her elderly grandmother suffers a stroke (Vera Valdez, another one who gives everything and despite her age, gives herself completely to the role). Locked up with a person she doesn’t even recognize, the young woman begins to have strange visions in the old apartment where they both live.

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The argument could have given rise to an entire Almodovarian psychodrama whose ghost, in reality, ‘The Grandmother’ never completely detaches itself (as it does not detach from the trilogy of Polanski’s apartments). It could not be less with a script written entirely by Carlos Vermut: the personality of the author of ‘Diamond Flash’ or ‘Magical Girl’ is breathed in many aspects of the film. From the musical selection (the Vainica Doble moment was excellent) to the all-female cast, going through the traditional use of a Chinese restaurant or certain reflections on power relations in certain professions.

But ‘La granny’ is completely two-headed, and Paco Plaza also brings to the whole his extraordinary pulse for the rarefied atmospheres and the dark and collapsed spaces: the points in common with the setting of ‘Veronica‘ or ‘REC‘ are obvious, with that huge floor where every creak of the floor hides a secret. We also have a childhood full of hidden signs and a purely Spanish approach to esotericism, of BIC pens and curses with a view to Retiro.

The cards on the table

‘The grandmother’ makes an unusual decision in these times of anti-spoiler psychosis and the need for continuous plot twists so that the viewer does not end up watching the Tik Tok on duty: show all your cards from the first moment. Indeed, in an introductory sequence, before the credits, we already have all the keys to understand what happens in the film. It happened to me like this and I smelled the toast from minute one (but be careful, it didn’t happen to all my companions), but the experience didn’t suffer in the least.

Because in ‘La granny’ the final twist or the explanation of the mystery does not matter, but rather the careful atmosphere that it builds from the start. The film finds an uncomfortable discursive point equidistant between the body horror everyday, the stories of haunted houses and the esoteric horrors of the seventies (the nods to the great classic ‘La sentinel’, for example, are constant), and there the plot unfolds, in a middle ground between the conventions well known by the fan and uncharted territory.

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many fans have discussed the final stretch of the film as a shocking conclusion that spoils the atmosphere that builds the filmbut as Jorge Loser demonstrates in his excellent analysis of the film in Espinof, actually that ending is just the logical conclusion to a plot that is slowly unraveling. The disturbing children’s birthday party, the decoration of the house or the introduction itself full of clues about what is going to happen (the matryoshkas, the cake) show that ‘Grandma’ is taken care of to the millimeter.

Undoubtedly, and despite its success (which ousted ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ from number one at the box office in Spain), ‘Grandma’ is not terror for all tastes. His all-out bet on atmosphere and uncomfortable message that raises, in dual terms, the most terrible aspects of our dependence on an impossible eternal beauty, does not come with clear instructions. But it is fortunate that films like this still have a place in our cinema and that there are people with talent and courage to execute them.

Released two months ago (let’s get used to these increasingly scarce windows, much more so when the platform, as in…

Released two months ago (let’s get used to these increasingly scarce windows, much more so when the platform, as in…

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