DVD Review: FOR ELISA

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

For Elisa Review

REVIEW: FOR ELISA / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JUANRA FERNANDEZ / SCREENPLAY: JUANRA FERNANDEZ / STARRING: ANA TURPIN, ONA CASAMIQUELA, LUISA GASAVA / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 30TH

Named after the Beethoven composition Für Elise, Para Elisa is a Spanish horror film with a simple enough premise. Ona Casamiquela is Ana, a fine arts student (in a role that you could imagine starring a younger Jennifer Connolly) who takes a babysitting job that quickly turns sinister. While the sum of its parts are innocuous and trite, together it makes for a surprisingly compelling film.

Dolls are innately creepy and a staple of the horror genre, from Dolly Dearest, to Child’s Play and Jigsaw’s tricycle-riding mascot in the Saw series, but they’ve lost a lot of cultural prevalence and potency as a trope. The unsettling elements of Para Elisa aren’t related to the idea of dolls, per se, but more a fear of adolescence, and Elisa’s dependence on her mother is rather unnerving.

Ana Turpin is chilling as the titular Elisa, reminiscent of Kathy Bates in Misery, but it’s her mother Diamantina, played by Luisa Gavasa, who steals the film, decked out like a demented Maude from Hal Ashby’s cult classic.

There’s some pretty spooky stuff here too, made spookier off camera, relying only on the sound. Just because you can show something doesn’t mean you should; cinema, at its best, functions on trickery and illusion.

At only 75 minutes long, Para Elisa manages to create tense and claustrophobic interactions between Elise and Ana alongside the sleuth element of Ana’s off-again-on-again boyfriend Alex (played by Jesús Caba) attempting to find her.

Whether or not Para Elisa is supposed to be a comment on the frivolous and fickle fashion industry or the preservation of youth is unclear. In many ways the narrative would have worked very well as a short story, intertwining Gothic aspects with adolescence as in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber.

The most exciting and transgressive horror cinema is coming out of Europe, and Spain, in particular, has really been delivering the goods over the last twenty years or so: The Devil’s Backbone, The Orphanage and Tesis are all great examples. While Para Elisa doesn’t quite step up to the plate, it’s a notch above a lot of twaddle getting churned out.

Extras: None



Suggested Articles:
First broadcast in 1973 as an episode for the long running, German detective series, Tatort (which s
Based on Adelaida García Morales’ short story El sur, this 1983 film version was voted one of the
We’ve always been sceptical of health farms and diet pills, and this obscure little gem from Down
After his mother died, Michael’s dad Roger managed to drink his way out of a job and the pair out
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

DEAD PIGEON ON BEETHOVEN STREET 15 January 2017

EL SUR 15 January 2017

BODY MELT (1993) 12 January 2017

VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH 12 January 2017

FIRST MEN IN THE MOON 10 January 2017

SAUSAGE PARTY 09 January 2017

HEAD OF THE FAMILY 09 January 2017

CREEPY 09 January 2017

THE GLASS SHIELD (1994) 09 January 2017

BLAIR WITCH 09 January 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144