The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre Review

It’s time for a very old school supernatural type film that works really well. It’s definitely one of the biggest examples of a slow burner that you will see so I definitely suggest keeping that in mind. That said, if you really enjoy the slow build up and anticipation then this will be right up your alley. Particularly in the first half there is a lot of walking around and examining the backgrounds as the hero has to decide whether or not this adventure is supernatural or not.

The movie opens up with Nelson being hired by a lady named Vivia. Basically her husband believes he is being haunted by a ghost and Vivia needs Nelson to either get rid of the ghost if it is real or prove that it is all in Henry’s imagination. This is right up Nelson’s alley so he agrees but no worries he won’t charge anything if it turns out that the whole thing is a scam. That’s awful generous of him at least. Nelson is incredibly confident but is this confidence really earned or is he about to be in for a rude awakening? Only time will tell here.

I do love how sure of himself Nelson is though. You really do need to have that kind of confidence in this business or you’re going to be in trouble. No mind games are going to work on him, that’s for sure. This guy has been around the block a few times after all. If anything his only weakness is that he can be extremely slow to react to things. Like if a door is closing it will absolutely close all the way before he really notices. Still, he will be ready for a fight and that’s what counts although in his line of work things will rarely get physical. What’s a ghost going to do here right?

The first half of the film is when the movie is at its strongest as we walk through a rather huge crypt and the whole thing seems very spooky. It doesn’t go very well for Vivia as she is seemingly attacked by a ghost and panics but it is hard to deal with the supernatural so I’ll cut her some slack. Vivia is confident in her own right as well like when she declared that she would go back into the room by herself just to prove that she wasn’t scared. It may have backfired but the intent was on point. She’s a very mysterious character as well and the instant she appears a part of you absolutely has to write her down as a suspect. Surely she would be in a good position to be fooling Henry into thinking ghosts were around right?

Then you have the maid who is rather frightening. So much so that even though she works for Vivia, she scares her just by approaching. That scene near the beginning was probably the funniest moment in the whole film because out of context it just seems so crazy. Presumably the lady has been here for a while so why should her appearance startle Vivia so drastically? It’s not like she ran into the room either, she just calmly walked inside. I guess those things just happen sometimes. The maid actually gets a whole origin story taking place in the village with a case that could have been its own movie.

Basically Nelson was there as well on a prior case and the village wanted him to find out what evil sprit was there and to exorcise it. Unfortunately he determined that there was nothing supernatural there and it was a human behind the poisonings and trouble. This didn’t fly very well in the village and so Nelson was considered to be a scammer and the maid certainly felt that way to this day. So Nelson has to work at a slight disadvantage with Henry here since his reputation is partially shot. Unfortunately Henry is also completely convinced that there is some kind of spirit going on here and doesn’t give Nelson a great chance to make his case.

One detail I should add here is that the spirit appears to be Henry’s dead mother so that’s another wrinkle to consider. Why should she want to haunt him? Still there are a lot of things going on that are hard to explain conventionally. He receives calls from the phone installed by the dead mother’s grave and nobody should have the code for this line to work. Additionally the ventilators make sounds and then Vivia seems to get possessed at one point.

Yeah there may be more to this than meets the eye. There is also a lady who randomly shows up at one point and talks with Nelson but she vanishes soon after. I suspect if this series had kept on going as a TV program or a movie series she would have been a recurring character because otherwise that was the most random part in the movie. The writing is on point and the pacing is good so you have all the makings of a solid movie right here.

I would say the film’s only weakness is that after the first half it never captures that same spooky atmosphere that it did in the original. See, at first you’re jumpy like the leads because everything is cloudy and mysterious. Vivia waiting for Nelson in the dead of night while in the middle of the cemetery is spooky in itself because clearly she isn’t nervous about being out that late at night. The cars also get conveniently stranded fairly far out from the estate so if Nelson has to leave at any point then it will be more difficult than expected.

Then in the second half it’s more about the info dumps and while we still get strong dialogue from all the characters, it’s not very spooky. A lot of the scenes are in the daytime now and every character slowly loses their mystique. Maybe this was inevitable as we started to close out the case but I dunno it would have been cool to have kept this going just a little bit longer. Honestly having them get trapped in the crypt during the initial scenes could have been great and you have the whole film take place down there. That would be absolutely terrifying since nobody wants to be trapped in a crypt like that with someone they don’t even know.

Overall, The Ghost of Sierra is a pretty fun film. I do stress that you need to enjoy the slow burn kind of horror film here because it is fair to say that not a whole lot happens for a while. So there are going to be decent stretches of time where you’re sort of just waiting for something to happen and in a way the whole point is that you’re enjoying the atmosphere rather than the events that are going to happen. In that sense I feel like the second half fumbles a bit but it doesn’t lower this from being a pretty solid film either way.

Overall 7/10


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