Film Column – Sister Death

Directed by Paco Plaza, Sister Death is more an origin story than a prequel.

NEW to Netflix, Spanish horror film Sister Death is the prequel to Veronica, and focuses on the story of Sister Narcisa (Aria Bedmar) and her first encounter with the spirit world.

Set in post-war Spain, Narcisa, a young novice with supernatural powers, arrives at a former convent, now a school for girls, to become a teacher. As the days go by, the strange events and increasingly disturbing situations that torment her will eventually lead her to unravel the terrible knot of secrets that surround the convent and haunts its inhabitants.

On its release back in 2017, the original film was hailed by Netflix as the scariest movie on the streaming service – that week, at least!

Again directed by Paco Plaza, Sister Death is more an origin story than a prequel. But it is more stylish and sober with it, and equally captivating as leading lady Bedmar, is mesmeric as the innocent and at-sea young postulant, struggling with her faith and paranormal abilities.

Sister Narcisa, played in her old age by Consuelo Trujillo, appears in the original as an ominous presence christened ‘Sister Death’.

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And while the pace of Plaza’s latest film moves like molasses, the overall air of mystery and the chilling atmosphere is amped up by a far more compelling and moodier tale that draws us in and holds us in its powerful grasp.

Most of this is down to the winning performance from Bedmar, a star in the making, as well as the distinguished camerawork and lighting that adds to the God-fearing aura of dismay throughout the dark convent halls.

Sister Death is a far more memorable and enjoyable experience than its predecessor and Plaza has directed a sequel that is effectively tense and disturbing.

From the Spanish filmmaker who brought us such horror classics as Rec and Rec 2, this is a film worthy of Netflix’s braggadocious claims of ‘scariest film’ this week.