It’s 9:47 pm
The cheetah and I were sorting out the different movies we picked up from our closing video store,he noticed we had films from so many countries now. Holland,Norway,the UK,China,South Korea,Japan….and he said “Where is Argentina at? We don’t have any movies from Argentina”.
As we stood there,the doorbell rang,it was the UPS guy and he had a package for us.
It seems like our new friend Ray from Artsploitation Films in Philly had overheard us in the basement and decided to come to our rescue,he has sent over our first film to be reviewed that is from Argentina. The film is called “Luciferina” and away we go…..
The film opens with a clip of a nearly ready child in the womb,ready to be birthed.
We meet novice nun Natalia (Sofia Del Tuffo) who is at her school,she is working in the kitchen when she runs into a fellow student named Lucas who seems distraught.
As she makes small talk with him,he is upset that Natalia doesn’t see a “glow” around him anymore,he gives her his cross and says good-bye.
As Natalia is sitting and pondering what just happened,the Mother Superior summons her. There has been an accident and Natalia’s mom has been killed,the Mother Superior says they welcome her back after she goes home,Natalia doesn’t want to leave but the Mother Superior says the monastery isn’t a “hide out”. Natalia then looks at the three nuns cleaning the alter and sees a golden “glow”behind them.
Natalia goes home and sees her older sister’s friends in the living roon,smoking and carrying on. Mauro,her sister’s boyfriend,starts making fun of Natalia as she goes upstairs to see her father.
As Natalia enters the attic where her dad insisted on recovering in. As she looking at her father,her sister Angela comes and explains how their mom locked herself in the attic and started painting several strange and bizarre scenes,Natalia is shocked to see that some of the paintings reflect dreams she has been having lately. She explains that her mother thought she possessed and she attacked the father who killed her in self-defense.
Angela is very resentful towards Natalia who was able to escape to go school while Angela was forced to stay home despite being the elder sister.
They go back downstairs where Mauro again starts teasing Natalia,Angela tells him to shut up and when Mauro attacks her,Abel,one of the group of friends,knocks him on his ass,he then leaves in a huff.
The group,Abel and another couple,Osvaldo and Mara,encourage Angela and Natalia to come with to this island where a shaman helps them get whole and clean through a ritual. Osvaldo has already done it and says it has really helped him.
The two sisters go outside to talk,it is then that we learn that they were adopted by their parents. As Angela smokes,she points out that Natalia has always been seen as the “perfect one”. Natalia takes to drag on her cigarette to show Angela she has flaws as well.
The small group of friends are dropped off at a island that used to be a church but the nuns were evicted in favor of a mental asylum but is now abandoned except for the shaman. No one greets them at the dock and Natalia goes for a walk and ends up having a discussion with a elderly woman. Abel finds her and we see that he is sweet on Natalia and shares that he too is a virgin and they share a tender moment before returning to the group.
It’s that Mauro shows up angry and vengeful and he wants another round with Abel. He pulls a knife and starts advancing before Mara pulls out a pistol (very American like) and threatens to shoot him,Mauro then retreats uttering threats as he does.
They are then found by the shaman’s assistant and leads them deeper into the island.
After greeting the group,the shaman then gives them a powerful plant called Ayahuasca that will help cleanse their souls. As they all drink and then lay down,the true nature of both Natalia and the mysterious island will come to be told.
Natalia will face something beyond her wildest dreams and will have to truly fight for more then just her life…..and has to face the Devil himself in the process.
So did the cheetah and I like “Luciferina”? Indeed we did,this,like Molly before it,was a huge surprise. This is a very stylish horror story with the emphasis more on the story and the the way the film is presented then outright scares and gore. Writer-director Gonzalo Calzada has made a a most interesting film and the real heart of his film is its star,the beautiful Sofia Del Tuffo. She looks like Rosamund Pike and has the same ability to both look sweet in one scene and very intense the next.
The rest of the cast except for Marta Lubos as the elderly woman on island and Pedro Merlo as Abel,is not very likable,they look like strung out crackheads and you never really care about them for a minute,you know they are going to get killed but not sure how it happen.
The story itself is the first of a trilogy and Calzada has written a perfect ending for the first chapter. Upon re-watching “Lucifierina”,I did see the small Easter eggs that have been left that will point where the next film will go to.
The BluRay release of “Luciferina” is two hours long and should be rated “R” as there is a fair amount of nudity in the last 15 minutes. This film is subtitled as well.
My only complaint is the lack of an special features,I think this film really deserved a director’s commentary.
You can buy a copy of “Luciferina” by going to Artsploitation’s website.
I can’t wait to see which country we go to next!!!