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THE GRANDMOTHER / LA ABUELA (2021, SPA)

The Spaniard Paco Plaza, together with his colleague Jaume Balaguero, presented himself with the successful zombie trilogy “REC”, after which their paths diverged. However, both have in common that they still (mostly) stick to horror with occasional trips to other genres (mostly thrillers), and after the good thriller “Eye for an Eye” and “The Grandmother” and “La abuela”, Plazi is a return to the genre. and became famous. The screenplay for “Baku” was written by Carlos Vermouth, who has so far been more artistic than genre-oriented, so this film is more of a typical combination of arty psychological-symbolic dramas with elements of horror than a classic horror film.

In the beginning, “La abuela” is a bit reminiscent of the cult American horror “Skeleton Key” because here we have a young woman who has to take care of an old woman after she survives a stroke. Susana (Almudena Amor) is a young model who lives in Paris and is quite successful, but will have to return home to Madrid when she finds out that her old grandmother Pilar (Vera Valdez) suffered a severe stroke and lost the gift of speech. After her parents were killed when she was a child, her grandmother also raised Susanna, and she will return home to find someone to take care of her. And Mrs. Valdez, who was once the muse of the famous fashion designer Coco Chanel, why she looks like death on vacation. As Jože Manolić’s aunt, terribly thin, bony, with an expressive face that probably weighs 20 kilos with a bed. and the grandmother’s appearance and the undisguised depiction of her decaying old body are details that cause discomfort.

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She lives in that typical old-fashioned old woman’s apartment where the vast majority of the film takes place, and Plaza managed to solidly achieve the expected claustrophobic impression and atmosphere. Very soon some strange things will start happening in the apartment with her grandmother, Susana seems to be starting to remember some details about her childhood that she seems to have suppressed or forgotten. It is a film in which the horror is achieved by the atmosphere, details, music and direction and there is not much blood, and apart from the fact that the tempo is quite slow, it also seems quite airtight. There is also symbolism and eternal conflict between old age and youth because the grandmother was once beautiful and young like her handsome granddaughter, and today she has become almost a living skeleton. Susan will start to think that some supernatural, unnatural things are happening in the apartment with her grandmother, and by the end we have to find out if it really happened or if it was all in her head.

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