★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Fabián Forte
This Argentinian tale of a sorcerer trying to save his daughter from a diabolical creature is bound to put a lump in your throat as it sends shivers down your spine.
Argentina is killing it when it comes to producing moving horror movies featuring truly touching sentiment and engaging family drama to accompany the spookier, scarier content. Last year’s Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night was one of my top 10 favorite fright-fare films of 2021, and Legions is a strong contender for such a spot for this year.
Antonio (Germán De Silva) is stuck in an asylum, which is no place for a man in a long line of sorcerers to be, especially when his adult daughter Elena (Lorena Vega) — who has distanced herself from him for several years — is being pursued by a demon that has wanted to claim her since childhood. Antonio must try to figure out a way to escape and rescue her, but how will that affect the outcome of the troubled production of the play he has written that stars his fellow patients?
Legions blends together many elements of occult and folk horror — from exorcisms to voodoo dolls and beyond — with a dash of magical realism and an air of whimsy. The result is a finely crafted slice of cinema boasting characters that viewers can care about and get behind, which is becoming ever more rare in horror films recently. Writer/director Fabián Forte concocts a fanciful world that ranges from the wilds of Argentina to offices in Buenos Aires to the aforementioned asylum. The sizeable cast, led by De Silva’s affecting lead turn, is terrific, as are the film’s practical and CGI effects.
Legions is the type of horror film that goes for the heartstrings as much as the goosebumps. Fans of world cinema, horror or otherwise, should have a delightful time with this unique effort.
Review by Joseph Perry
Legions screened as part of Fantaspoa 2022. For more information on the festival, please visit www.fantaspoa.com.