Sister Death review: Brilliant horror filmmaking can’t save this generic story

In Sister Death, a novice nun with supernatural powers joins a convent-turned-school for girls, where strange events lead her to face an entity that haunts this place. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

In 1939, in Spain, a little girl charms a village in the mountains with her supernatural abilities. She comes to be known as the Holy Girl of Peroblasco.

Ten years later, the same little girl, Sister Narcisa, joins an old convent that has been turned into a school for girls after the war. Sister Narcisa quickly begins having strange experiences at the school.

The chair in her room keeps falling, there is a mysterious box in her room, someone is finishing an incomplete drawing outside her room, and children whisper whenever she writes on the board.

Soon, Sister Narcisa comes to realize that the nuns here are hiding something and learns that an entity is haunting this school as she seeks to find out the truth.

Performances

Sister Death brings a strong and capable cast that has proven itself before. Aria Bedmar, as Sister Narcisa, channels the energy of novice nun characters in other horror movies that explore settings such as these.

Bedmar manages to leave a mark of her own. However, it won’t be anything fresh for those who are done with characters such as these.

One thing’s for sure: Bedmar is required to show the big difference between the Sister Narcisa here and the one in Veronica. She gets the job done, but the film fails to satisfy the viewers, considering how mysterious Sister Narcisa is in the sequel.

Almudena Amor joins the film for a short period of time as a mother longing for her child. She switches the nature of her character with one evil smile, and she would have been really scary if she had been there for the whole film.

Positives

Sister Death opens with black-and-white footage of Sister Narcisa’s childhood that is backed by powerful, haunting music. There is no better way to start a horror film than this, as it makes viewers question what has happened.

The entire film runs on around a 4:3 aspect ratio; the sound effects, the way it is shot, and how events follow one after the other pretty much attempt to resemble the horror films of the ’60s.

There is always an atmospheric tension present at the school. The corridors, the classrooms, and the cellars look creepy, whereas the outside is cheery and beautiful when Sister Narcisa first walks into the school.

Sister Death uses the same horror techniques that Veronica used to engage viewers. It builds the right amount of tension through little developments that hint at something ominous happening before giving viewers the treat they came for.

To make jumpscares such as these work, one has to be very careful, and the creators do a compelling job here. To level things up, Sister Death has a strong music game going. It has a terrifying soundtrack that is scary in itself.

Negatives

Veronica had built itself upon the strong relationships the characters shared with each other. This is kind of missing in Sister Death, which also doesn’t have a strong antagonist.

What Sister Death brings is a generic horror story of revenge that is elevated just because of a great presentation. Hence, the fans might not feel satisfied.

Verdict

Sister Death hits all the right notes on making a horror film work, except for the story that is presented. The jump scares, the sound, the setting, and a lot more feels right, but this done-and-dusted story of revenge will leave the viewers dissatisfied because the character of Sister Death hints at something far bigger than what viewers saw in Veronica.

Sister Death
Sister Death review: Brilliant horror filmmaking can't save this generic story 1

Director: Paco Plaza

Date Created: 2023-10-26 10:12

Editor's Rating:
2.5

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