Venus is a 2022 Spanish supernatural horror film set in an urban survival environment with elements of modern witchery.
The movie is the second entry in the six-part ‘The Fear Collection’ that Sony Pictures International Productions and Amazon Prime Video is jointly producing. The first movie was Álex de la Iglesia’s Veneciafrenia (2021).
Directed by Jaume Balagueró (Muse; Sleep Tight; Fragile; [REC] and two sequels; The Nameless) from a screenplay written by Fernando Navarro (Fenómenas; Below Zero; Unknown Origins; Muse; Verónica). The plot was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s story ‘The Dreams in the Witch House’.
The movie stars Ester Expósito, Ángela Cremonte, Magüi Mira, Fernando Valdivieso and Federico Aguado.
Rent or buy digital release via Amazon.com
“Balagueró’s latest may draw from a familiar Lovecraft short, but its emphasis on the crime aspect puts it closer to a siege thriller than cosmic horror. Its mythology and character beats may be thinly drawn, but it doesn’t detract from the propulsive action sequences or gory moments […] Overall, Venus makes for a slick and breezy action-horror movie far more memorable for its gruesome high-octane thrills than its cosmic chills.” Bloody Disgusting
“While there are some twists viewers may see coming, the last act is non-stop, alarming action as everything comes to a head. All the villains are revealed, and Lucía is going to have to try to save herself and Alba from a barrage of threats. It will have audiences white-knuckled, on the edge of their seats as one horror begets another. Its grip on viewers is relentless, delivering a shocking, bloody and unsettling conclusion…” Digital Journal
“When things truly get going in the third act, Venus is an immensely satisfying and gory cosmic horror film, including a very tense moment of self-surgery. However, the film takes its time getting to the climax, with the crime thriller aspects of the story being an unnecessary distraction to the plot. Given all the talent behind the camera, I would almost expect Venus to be more special than it turns out to be.” Film Festival Reviews
“With Balagueró reteaming with cinematographer Pablo Rosso, visually, Venus can occasionally stun with how it frames this recycled setting, especially during the action-packed and frenetic climax which feels like the film finally coming alive after spending much of its runtime in first gear. Otherwise, Balagueró, returning to many of his established tropes…” Film Pulse
“Venus has a lot on its plate, and at any one time might succeed at some of it, but it doesn’t quite pull off all of it. Its early half feels exciting, and we land in the middle of some excellent cross-combination of mob drama and character study, but the threads never tie neatly together. A forced conclusion with murky lore behind it weakens the otherwise intriguing premise, and an overabundance of cheesy music softens the emotional blows. Still, it’s full of blood and viscera.” 2.5 out of 5, Irish Film Critic
” …the arms-length atmosphere is perpetuated by a midsection that contains few, if any, compelling or interesting moments, which does ensure, as a result, that the decidedly bonkers occurrences contained within Venus’ third act are hardly able to pack the engrossing, exciting punch Balagueró has obviously intended – which ultimately does cement the picture’s place as a palpable misfire that never remotely lives up to the potential of its apocalyptic setup.” 1.5 out of 4, Reel Film Reviews
Venus had its world premiere in the Midnight Madness section of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The film also opened the Sitges Film Festival before being released in Spanish cinemas by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In the US, Venus was released on VOD on September 12, 2023. Rent or buy digital release via Amazon.com
1 hour 40 minutes
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