I’ve been a nanny and a teacher. We all know, even working outside early childhood education that some parents ans children are just plain weird. Yup. I said it. Weird. In Juanra Fernandez‘s new Spanish horror creation PARA ELISA, weird takes on a whole new meaning. In need of some quick and easy cash, Ana arrives for a job interview as a nanny. The mother of the house is an eccentric musician with a screw loose. One giant dilemma stands in Ana’s way; Mom is not only certifiably insane but her daughter, Elisa, is even more disturbed. Her sense of reality has been twisted by years of abuse combined with what seems like mental illness. Ana is made into a living doll for Elisa to “toy” with. Our heroine is played in realistic fashion by Ona Casamiquela. I do not know what I would do faced with this scenario but she fights her ass off. Scary mommy Diamantina is played brilliantly by Luisa Gavasa. Think Sunset Boulevard lost her mind. I would watch an entire film about her back story in a heart beat. Elisa is portrayed by Ana Turpin. She skillfully created a character you find yourself caring for and fearing. This is a fearless performance. I would seek out more work from her. Someone get Guillermo Del Toro in touch with Turpin, please? Not since Grand Piano have I been this unsettled by the sights and sounds of a piano in an opening credits sequence. This sets the stage for the entire rest of Para Elisa. Taking a page right out if Stephen King‘s Misery, add in a dash of People Under The Stairs parenting style and you’ve got yourself a rousing good time. The violence ramps up and up as the story progresses, all action occurring within one night, and at a tight 71 minute run time, Para Elisa is one satisfying nightmare.
PARA ELISA come to DVD and VOD , Tuesday, September 1st.