Luciferina Blu-ray Review

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Devilish Terror From Argentina

Leave it to Artsploitation Films to find a memorable demonic thriller that touches upon religion and sexuality, without feeling like a generic b-movie. The cult distributor brings Luciferina from Argentina to our shores in a new Blu-ray edition.

Taking a cue from films like The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby, director Gonzalo Calzada (Resurrection, The Clairvoyant’s Prayer) has crafted a unique satanic thriller that owes as much to shamanism as it does Catholicism. The sinister Spanish-language movie has fresh ideas for the genre framed in new and creative ways.

Luciferina is the first in Calzada’s planned trilogy of films called “The Trinity of the Virgins” and certainly pulls no punches. The storytelling is careful and quite explicit, introducing a family with dark secrets that ultimately lead to a horrific and sexually charged confrontation with the Devil. The violent tale explores pregnancy, possession and raw sexuality through the religious prism of South America.

This is a film that takes its horror seriously and approaches the religious themes with conviction.

Natalia (Sofía Del Tuffo) is a self-admitted virgin that can see auras around other people and plans to become a nun. Natalia is a nineteen-year-old novice who reluctantly returns home after two years to her troubled family and her dying father. When her sister Angela (Malena Sanchez) goes looking for answers about their family’s past from a mysterious shaman deep in the jungle, Natalia decides to tag along for help. Deep in the jungle, they participate in a ceremony using the mystical plant Ayahuasca that reveals shocking truths about their family that lead to the Devil.

Luciferina has character-driven storytelling and a keen grasp of what it wants. The movie is really a tale of two halves. The opening hour may be too slowly paced for some, setting up everything for the craziness that follows. This is a film that takes its horror seriously and approaches the religious themes with conviction.

It is only after Angela and friends have participated in the ceremony that all hell breaks loose and the real action begins. Deep in the jungle and trapped in an abandoned abbey, everything that had been building towards a couple of shocking reveals comes together nicely in visually explosive scenes. What had been a slow-boiling thriller turns into a dark, chaotic and brutal horror movie.

It’s not surprising that Natalia is special, but Luciferina takes creative and daring risks with its plucky protagonist. The final act veers away from the fairly straightforward religious tropes common to the genre and goes in a completely different direction, embracing Natalia’s innocence and sexuality. Black Masses and demonic pregnancies are tackled with stylish abandon.

Calzada has already proven himself as a filmmaker to keep an eye on and Luciferina is a fresh entry in a tired genre full of rehashes. After decades of derivative Exorcist retreads and Omen rip-offs, Luciferina makes for an interesting and sinister twist to the standard satanic chiller. This is not a horror movie that will gain critical acceptance from the mainstream, but it’s an intense excursion for real horror fans.

Video

Artsploitation Films presents Luciferina in an immaculate transfer that leans toward an overly bright color grading. The clean source material makes for a sharp, detailed Blu-ray with excellent clarity. The 114-minute main feature is encoded in fine AVC on a BD-25. The video is shown in Luciferina’s intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This isn’t demo material but Luciferina looks better than your typical independent horror production.

The clean picture quality is lit a bit differently than most horror films. It has a glossy television lighting scheme which looks perfect in exteriors, but leads to somewhat pale flesh-tones and washed-out color saturation. Otherwise there are few complaints in this new movie’s video. Black levels are decent and shadow delineation remains fairly high most of the time. About the only soft moments are the CGI shots of a fetus growing within a womb.

Audio

Luciferina is heard with its intended Spanish audio in 5.1 Dolby Digital and a secondary 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack. The surround mix has an active, discrete sound design concentrated towards the front with suitable low-end attack.

The atmospheric audio does a good job immersing the audience into the demonic action. Dialogue is well-balanced with proper dynamics in the crisp mastering.

The Spanish-language movie comes with optional English and English SDH subtitles. They play in a yellow font. As someone that doesn’t speak Spanish, the English subs do a fine job of conveying the story and dialogue.

Extras

Nothing else is provided in terms of special features outside of the trailer.

Luciferina Trailer (01:59 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray release was provided to us for review by the label. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit our about us page to learn more about DoBlu’s editorial policies.

Luciferina
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Luciferina

The demonic shocker from Argentina is finely-crafted horror with deep religious convictions and explicit sexuality.

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