Paco Plaza, who co-directed one of the best found footage horror movies of them all, 2007’s [REC], is back this year with the Spanish horror film Veronica, which surprise-released on Netflix late last month. The film has been generating a whole lot of buzz here on the net, with many sites reporting that it’s so scary some can’t even finish it.
Veronica is about a young woman who must protect her younger brother and sister after she attempts to bring back the spirit of their dead father through a Ouija ritual.
Like many horror films, Veronica was actually based on true events, the real story coming out of Madrid, Spain back in 1991. Story goes that a teenage girl named Estafania Gutierrez Lazaro died mysteriously in August of that year, with her parents believing that her unexplained death was the result of her playing with a Ouija board.
Shortly before Estafania’s own death, one of her friends had died in a tragic motorcycle accident, leading the group to perform a seance in the hopes of making contact with him. The seance, which was being performed at Estafania’s school, was interrupted by a nun before it could be completed; the nun reportedly broke the Ouija board, and all Hell broke loose in Estafania’s life in the wake of the failed seance. For months, she was having seizures and bizarre hallucinations, with dark, shadowy figures swirling around her.
Doctors were unable to find anything wrong with Estafania. Something obviously was, however, as she died in the Summer of 1991. Estafania’s parents claim that in the wake of their daughter’s death, the torment continued. And that’s where things get really spooky.
What makes the “Vallecas case” so infamous in Spain is that it’s the only time in the country’s history that police actually filed a report that indicated that *they* had witnessed something paranormal. Around a year after Estafania’s death, her parents called local police to report an evil force within their home, and police arrived at the house to discover that something very strange was indeed going on in there. They heard loud noises and saw scratches on the walls; creepier still, a photograph of Estafania reportedly lit ablaze inside its frame.
“In Spain it’s very popular, this story; as we say in the film, the only time a police officer has said he has witnessed something paranormal,” says Paco Plaza. “And it’s written in a report with an official police stamp… it’s really impressive when you look at it.”
If you’re looking to watch a scary movie with scary real life origins, look no further.