Para Elisa review
A job at a magnificent house owned by a famous musician seems too good to be true – and it is – in the tension-filled horror film PARA ELISA. The acclaimed new Spanish film comes to DVD and VOD on September 1, 2015 from Dark Sky Films.
What you read above is all I knew about this film before watching it so I wanted to give you the same opportunity before I spoil anything for you. PARA ELISA is a brilliantly crafted thriller that is grotesque and beautiful while thoroughly entertaining.
With elements of Misery, Mommy Dearest, Psycho, House of the Devil, Sleep away Camp and Who Can Kill a Child, PARA ELISA manages to play with genre tropes while never fully committing to them and in turn creates something truly unique. The first act of the film is so beautifully shot and composed that its almost distracting from the story that's being set up, this is of course by design. Ana (our protagonist) exists in a world of absolute aesthetic magnificence that she can't wait to escape. Her parents won't foot the bill for a post graduation vacation so she decides to take an "easy" job as a nanny to get some quick cash.
Of course as the description above alludes to, this is not the job she was expecting or deserves. The deserves part is what got me. Ana is in no way set up as a hero by the film makers and I'm wondering if we as an audience are supposed to feel sympathy for her or take pleasure in her receiving comeuppance. She is certainly a victim but I'm curious to see how people will react to her character. American audiences react in odd ball ways when it comes to nuanced female charters. Look at how people reacted to Skylar in Breaking Bad. You would have thought she was a fragile, ego driven, megalomaniac who cooked meth and killed her business partners.
While the film isn't scary in a traditional (loud noise off screen makes the audience jump) sort of way, it's certainly unnerving and gets under your skin. But the film also made me laugh out loud several times and revel in its pure over the top spectacle. I'm not familiar with the cast but whoever played Mommy will inspire drag queens for the next 30 years. Its difficult to pull off a film like this without stooping to an ironic disposition. PARA ELISA is proud to raise its freak flag and stand alone.