The true story behind Veronica, Netflix’s ‘scariest movie ever’

The Spanish film has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix has dropped a new Spanish horror movie, Veronica, which has been described as the “scariest movie ever”– and viewers are going mad for it.

The movie was put online earlier this week (February 26), and people have taken to Twitter to warn fellow users about their nail-biting viewing experience.

One user writes: “Started watching Veronica on Netflix […] but the demon walking down the hallway scene freaked me out so much I had to turn it off”.


Another says: “Umm just watched the Spanish horror movie on Netflix [called] ‘Veronica’ and I legit almost cried bc it’s so scary holy shit. That was a well done possession movie. Never sleeping again.”

So, what’s the film about? Who does it star? Does everyone agree that this is the “scariest film ever”? Here’s all you need to know.

What’s it about?

The film, directed by Paco Plaza, is set in 1991 Madrid. It follows teenager Veronica and her friends Rosa and Diana as they take a break from looking after their younger siblings to hold a seance in an attempt to contact Veronica’s dead boyfriend, who died in a motorcycle accident.  But, using an Ouija board, they mistakenly make contact with Veronica’s late father instead.


The film, which was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, quickly escalates as the teenagers are haunted by an evil supernatural force. The movie features jarring music and freaky sound effects, moving objects and, even, a terrifying, cigarette-smoking blind-nun. It distorts reality, leaving viewers to wonder whether what is happening is genuine or the result of Veronica’s imagination.

What’s the background to the film?

Veronica is based on a true story about the unsolved case of a young girl in Madrid in 1992 named Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro, who mysteriously died after using an Ouija board. Police were never able to crack their investigation.

Estefania reportedly tried to conduct the seance at school to contact the late boyfriend of one of her friends, after he died in a motorcycle accident. When a teacher interrupted, the group she was with described seeing a kind of smoke going into Estefania’s nose and mouth.

The story goes that Estefania began to suffer from seizures and hallucinations for the following six months. She told her parents she saw “evil” shadows from her room and was taken to see doctors by her parents. Ever since she died in hospital, her death remains unexplained. Her parents reported that following her death their house became haunted, a phenomenon verified by police reports.

Who’s in it?

Relatively unknown Spanish actor Sandra Escacena plays the lead role of Veronica. Escacena also stars a Spanish thriller released this year, called The Same.

Veronica’s friends Rosa and Diana are respectively played by Ángela Fabián, who starred in the Spanish fantasy series El Don de Alba, and Carla Campra, who stars in the upcoming Spanish thriller Everybody Knows.

The movie features a couple of quite well known names, too. These are Ana Torrent, who played Catherine of Aragon in the 2008 film The Other Boleyn Girl – which also featured Natalie Portman and Scarlet Johansson – and Leticia Dolera, who played Carmen in Mad Dogs. 

Director Plaza, meanwhile, is no stranger to frightening films – he previously directed another horror movie, the 2007-film REC.

Not everyone thinks the film is scary

Despite plenty of Twitter users expressing their fear of the film, others have disagreed. One writes: “[Veronica] was good, quite scary, a few jump scares, creepy demons and Ouija boards… Yet definitely not THE scariest film I have ever seen”.

Another, who slates the movie, says: “Just watched Veronica on Netflix, it’s terrible. My 9-month-old is scarier than that. The people that are claiming this movie is scary must be getting paid well for those reviews. There goes 1 hr 46 mins of my life I can’t get back.”

Others, meanwhile, have praised the film. One user writes: “Veronica on Netflix is soooooo good. I usually am so skeptical about new age horror movies but damn I’m shook.”

What do the critics think?

Film critics have also praised the film, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it 100 per cent on its “tomatometer” based on 12 reviews. IMDB, however, has been less favourable, rating it 6.5/10.

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