As the week progresses, Netflix continues to treat us with fresh creations.
Sister Death is a new Spanish film and as the name might suggest, it has horror as the primary ingredient.
Naturally, the movie aims to be spooky and chilling.
It directly contends with the recently released The Conference on paper.
Is the Spanish flick worth your time? Here is my review.
Sister Death Synopsis
Narcisa becomes a novice and starts teaching girls at a former convent. She is greeted with the haunting past of the school, making her life difficult.
The movie is directed by Paco Plaza and features Aria Bedmar as Narcisa in the lead role.
What Works for Sister Death?
Draped in an eerie background score, Sister Death starts off quietly.
It develops into a mysterious tale taking place in enclosed surroundings.
Just like the usual horror movies, this one also depends on background crescendos.
The music harmonizes seamlessly with the screenplay, creating a decently captivating experience.
Moreover, the ‘plot shifts’ towards the end make the last thirty minutes enticing.
That’s when Sister Death is at its best, taking the curtains off the mystery.
You will be glued to the screen as the narrative gets pacey for the first time.
Also, post finishing the film, I feel the storyline, though not intriguing, found its calling. So, we can count this specific aspect as a positive point for the movie.
Additionally, at one and a half hours, Sister Death is apt in length.
More minutes would have made it a drowsy affair in totality.
How are the Performances?
Almost every frame of the movie has the visuals of Aria Bedmar. She plays Narcisa, a teacher at a convent.
Her act is occasionally fragile and consistently engrossing. The story might not have done justice to Bedmar’s talent as she couldn’t explore many facets in a limited character sketch.
Other actors have also fulfilled their responsibilities with finesse.
What Doesn’t Work for Sister Death?
The underlying concept of Sister Death appears somewhat timeworn and predictable, eventually revealing itself as a tale of vengeance.
Initially, as you embark on the journey, there’s a glimmer of promise. However, this optimism quickly wanes as the ingrained dullness soon takes over.
I think most people tend to binge on horror movies during the night.
It is easier to fall asleep if the narrative doesn’t grip you.
This is where Sister Death lacks. In a slow-moving story, it doesn’t add enough elements to capture the audience’s attention.
Therefore, you feel the need to tinker with its speed of play (1.25x works well).
Yet, the most glaring shortcoming lies in the film’s inability to deliver effective horror.
There is a notable absence of genuine thrills or apprehension throughout the movie, even in its supposedly strongest segment during the last thirty minutes.
This glaring disconnect from the film’s goal of providing a truly spine-tingling experience contributes to its ultimate downfall.
The slow pace further sends the film into oblivion, installing the final nail in the coffin.
Lastly, the storyline is bland for the most part. I don’t think the objective should have been to make the first hour tedious.
They should have gone for a more holistic approach to have the overall narrative come together at all times.
As it stands, the film feels overly segmented, with the protagonist encountering a series of peculiar moments, being cornered, discovering the truth, and eventually fulfilling her role – a formulaic progression that is accentuated by the film’s languid pacing.
Should You Stream or Skip Sister Death?
It can be skipped since the real horror never takes center stage in the movie.
I would have preferred a whole gamut of genuine chills right from the start than have it in the end as a revealing chop.