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The Influence #MovieReview

After moving back to her family home to care for her dying mother, a nurse haunted by her childhood memories must struggle with an evil force in the house.

Starring: Manuela VellésMaggie CivantosAlain Hernández

Release Year: 2019 | Runtime: 1hr 39min | Genre: Horror | Source: Netflix | Country: USA | Language: Spanish | Trigger Warning: Dog Death | Rating: 5 out of 5

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The Influence (La Influencia) Review

Lord, what is this dark devilry before my eyes?!

Whenever possible I try to seek out foreign horror because it often has a fresh perspective on old tropes. I’m also slightly weary of remakes these days. The Influence is a very dark and atmospheric story of possession, witchcraft and creepy kids. Sound like a horror party? It was!

Sara moves back to her family home with her husband (Mikel) and daughter (Nora) to help care for her abusive mother that is in a coma. Her sister (Alicia) never left and works at a local shop. Nora finds a locket belonging to her grandmother and soon after wearing it she begins seeing Luna, a filthy child that wants to be her friend. The longer Nora wears this necklace and befriends Luna, the more her behaviour changes.

At the same time the family decides to clear out the house filled with objects of witchcraft that plagued Sara and Alicia’s childhood. And their childhood was traumatic to put it mildly. Sara wants to be rid of her mother despite not completely remembering her childhood, only knowing she hates her mother. Alicia is less resentful even though she remembers it all. As Nora begins to change, Sara is determined to save her daughter from her mother’s invisible grip, but is there something far worse at work?

Emma Suarez is the scariest thing since I don’t know when. She portrays a mother turned from light to dark so perfectly it will leave you with chills. It is a top witch portrayal, honest to God. In fact, all the performances are great which is sometimes lacking in horror. I always have to applaud child actors in horror because some situations can be so harrowing. Both Luna and Nora nail their roles.

This film also gets extra points because the drama to horror ratio is just right from start to finish with a real story to draw you into each scene. There are moments I knew something bad was about to happen and the director and writers do an excellent job drawing those moments out. That is how you do horror.

If you liked The VVitch I think you will enjoy this one. Five stars!
About that trigger warning. I have put this warning concerning dog death because this is a real issue for some people. You do not see the violent death, but you have sounds and it is strongly implied. There is a real sense of violence in the scene that I wanted to point out.

Published inMovie ReviewsStarred Reviews

One Comment

  1. Michael Morar

    I couldn’t agree more, this was a great horror film.

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