Plot: Natalia (Sofia Del Tuffo) is a nineteen year old novice nun, drawn to the calling because of her ability to see the mystical auras that surround people, not to mention her status as a virgin. After some time passes, she is summoned to return home and tend to her family, as her father is on his death bed. As she grieves, Natalia is approached by her sister Angela (Malena Sanchez), who believes the family is somehow cursed and wants to uncover the truth about the past. Angela plans to venture into the deep jungles to find a shaman to reveal her family’s dark past, so Natalia accompanies her to lend support and assist her sister. But when they discover the key to unlock the past lies within a mystical ritual with ties to the darker side of the supernatural, will they push forward and if so, what evils will be unleashed?
Entertainment Value: Luciferina is a dark, atmospheric delve into a realm of religion and supernatural elements, told in a serious, sincere style that ensures the eeriness is always effective. The narrative has some familiar notes, with the hidden past of a family being investigated, but the movie’s stylish visuals and tense atmosphere help keep us distracted. I also think that the final act makes some bold choices that make it stand out from similar movies of this kind, so while the build up definitely has some familiar threads, Luciferina has a fresh texture. The pace is deliberate, especially as the pieces fall into place to drive the narrative, but the movie rarely feels slow and the tension is ever present as well. So while the first act or so moves at a slower rate, it invests that time well and it all pays off in the end. I can see some impatient horror fans pining for a more brisk approach or more consistent scares, but Luciferina isn’t about bloodshed or cheap scares for the most part. The finale breaks with the slow burn and unleashes more direct, vivid horror elements however, which are all the more impactful by the journey to reach that point. I found this to be a well crafted, polished horror experience that keeps you invested in the story, then corks off a wild finish that should more than satisfy most genre fans.
A sexual undercurrent runs throughout Luciferina, but there’s a long stretch between the film’s nude scenes. An early shower scene has some bare breasts, but then we have to wait for the finale in order to get a repeat performance. But the wild last act provides more breasts, bare asses, and a wild, almost feral scene with some supernatural elements woven in. There is some bloodshed, but not all that much and the gore is by no means graphic or frequent. This doesn’t prove to be an issue however, as the tone is more atmospheric and eerie than blood soaked. The dialogue is well written, but quite serious in tone and never veers into craziness or over the top exchanges. There is some ritualistic incantation style lines however, which are always worth a point or so. So don’t think the low score is a critique of the writing, as that’s not the case, there’s just not much wackiness in this one. This is true of the overall craziness as well, as the movie keeps things creepy, but reined in for the most part, until the finale rolls around. At that point, Luciferina racks up some points and showcases some wild moments. So this one is serious when it needs to be, but also knows when to unleash the hellish side of the material.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Artsploitation Films delivers a beautiful treatment of Luciferina on Blu-ray, in a clear, crisp, and well detailed presentation. The film’s dark visual design is served well here and the contrast is razor sharp, giving even the most shadow filled scenes a good amount of visible detail. This is a movie that needs a top tier treatment, as it leans on the visuals a lot for atmospheric presence, so kudos to Artsploitation for nailing this high definition version. The original Spanish language track is here, as are optional English subtitles. The film’s trailer is also included.