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TIFF 2020: “The Barcelona Vampiress”


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

At times, made-up truths are better than the actual truth; it is sweeter, more acceptable, and can have public approval. The truth, that can be fed to people, is almost like giving a bone a dog to satisfy its hunger. The whole problem is, what really happens behind the curtains is something we won’t know as long as we act like we know everything, when in reality that’s not the case.

Set in the start of the twentieth century, a mysterious disappearance of children becomes reoccurring which got bluntly ignored. However, it got a big noise when the next victim was Teresa Guitart, the young daughter of a rich family. As the police search for a suspect and people hide their little ones inside their home, the journalist Sebastia Comas begins his own investigation that will lead him to the highest echelon of important people, and seems to have found the perfect scapegoat to cover up monstrous crimes. But is Enriqueta Marti the real murderer? Is she the one who removes children’s hearts and drink their blood? In a terrifying storyline, shot in black-and-white, the film offers a horrendous journey to the beginning of an era that was as dark as night itself.

“The Barcelona Vampiress” from director Lluis Danes is an impressive crime-thriller with elements of horror. It is dark and scary; some scenes are shot beautifully. Cinematography and the recreation of the past is outstanding. As for the narrative, it’s indeed a brilliant piece of writing that offers the only possible conclusion that will bring satisfaction to the viewer.

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