Last night I watched another directorial debut (well, kinda, as you wouldn’t class a short as a feature) from Spanish director Juanra Fernandez: Para Elisa or For Elisa as it states on the DVD case. Being rated as a 15, it is quite creepy and gory; for a first effort in the genre it is quite impressive, but I feel it seems to not be an original case for the movie itself. It borrows from a lot of recent movies, but I will let you judge that for yourselves.
Basically, the skinny …
***SPOILERS AHEAD***Ana, a young girl in college / University (It isn’t clear), is studying and wants to earn some quick cash, so she finds a job as a babysitter…remind you of any other recent successful movie over the past few years ?
*cough cough* House of the Devil *cough cough* Babysitter Wanted ….
Well, this feels like these were viewed and they wanted to make their own adaptation …… well it was/is a kinda change to the above: basically she is babysitting (from what I can gather as the subtitles were scatty at times and were white on a white background so that didn’t help matters) for a child, but when Ana arrives she comes in contact with (by the looks of things) a 20+ female that loves dolls and playing with them. As Ana is invited in, she feels like she is walking into something she wasn’t prepared for. As she speaks to the woman that we will call Elisa’s mother over a cup of tea, the conversation passes, and we soon learn that there wasn’t ever a job; she’s been drugged into the role for the daughter’s fascination of dolls…and Ana has become her next fascination …
So Ana awakes to find herself changed and fully clothed in dolls clothing, and Elisa is cowering over her with her mother’s cackling and hovering giving the feeling of “Oh Shit!” and the fun starts The torment, pain, and suffering…will ANA survive the night ????
Like I said above, the premise of the movie isn’t original; it gives you that feeling of Misery or House of the Devil, but it does have some of its own original elements. The gore, suspense, and horror is quite effective in its execution (yes, I will add it has the usual clichés thrown in, but it doesn’t spoil the movie in the slightest), and it’s full of good shocks and suspense. This is bolstered by an extremely well-made soundtrack that really adds to the feel of the movie throughout.
For Juanra’s directorial debut, it racks in at around 73 minutes with the credits, which is easily worth it. You’re drawn in when Ana is literally pushed feet first into her new role … Juanra picked an excellent cast to play the pivotal roles of Ana and the crazy daughter Elisa, and with all the suspense and the soundtrack, it made it for a fun viewing.
Hopefully this isn’t the last for the director; for a first effort, it definitely worked would easily give the movie 6.5-7/10 ..