TL;DR – A visually compelling horror film that does not quite have the story depth to back it up
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
If you could bottle creepy? In what form would it take. There would be the bumps in the night, the flickering lights, the things of the past that you had thought forgotten, occult rituals in the night, little girls with more knowledge than they should have, creepy crawlies the sound of a ventilator and heart monitor beeping in the distance. Well if that is what it takes then La Influencia is that and more.
So to set the scene, Sara (Maggie Civantos), her husband Mikel (Alain Hernández), and daughter Nora (Claudia Placer) are on their way back to Sara’s family home. Sara has not been back in years after a falling out with the mother Victoria (Emma Suárez). After the death of her husband, Victoria delved into the world of the occult and brought her family with her. Now she is just an old lady strapped to a ventilator after having a stroke. But as Nora becomes closer and closer to her comatose grandmother, things start to go wrong around town.
if there is one thing this film nails it is exploring that creepy factor that
would make watching this at night a very unfortunate choice indeed. I can’t
begin to go into just how this film is creepy because it is in its very
essence, from the moment the family arrived to the very last frame in the film
I felt deeply uncommentable as if I was not alone here. It then explores every facet
of life that puts people on edge. The soft sounds of the ventilator, which do not
give hope, the halls that are darker than they should be, the past bubbling up
to the surface.
How this film works as well as it does is that the cast is up for the challenge and there are times when this must not have been an easy shoot at all. One performance I do want to point out is that of Claudia Placer as Nora. So much of the film rests on her performance as she transitions from her to being part of her grandmother sort of … its weird. She has to play the character at so many different levels and that would be hard for an actor with a lot more years of experience so deep respects that she made it work.
the film does not quite come together is in its story. This is a film that
leans heavily on style over substance in my opinion. The visuals are all moody
and off-putting, like blood falling down on young child. However, when looking
at the plot beats it does not quite hold up. Now this could be because it is
using a lot of visual languages in which I don’t have a lot of experience, so
some of the stories could have been lost in translation, but it never quite
came together for me.
In the end, do we recommend La Influencia? Look I think this is one that is going to depend on the person. If you enjoy horror films or the occult and are looking forward to that in all its visual spectacle, then this would be the film for you. If not then I don’t think I can really recommend it.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Influence
Directed by – Denis Rovira van Boekholt
Written by – Michel Gaztambide, Daniel Rissech & Denis Rovira van Boekholt
Based on – A novel by Ramsey Campbell
Music by – Arnau Bataller
Cinematography by – Isaac Vila
Edited by – Martí Roca
Production/Distribution Companies –
Starring – Manuela Vellés, Maggie Civantos, Alain Hernández, Claudia Placer, Emma Suárez, Daniela Rubio, Ramón Esquinas, Felipe García Vélez, Mariana Cordero, Marta Castellote, Sofía Tolina, Berta Sánchez, Iratxe Emparan, Daniel Currás, Carles Cuevas & David Luque
Rating – Australia: MA15+;