Review: The Barcelona Vampiress
The Barcelona Vampiress (2020)
The Barcelona Vampiress is based on the amazingly true story of Enriqueta Martí i Ripollés (1868 – 1913) he supposed ‘Spanish child serial killer’ who kidnapped, then prostituted an unknown number of children.
The film itself is extremely stylised, the set design is purposely claustrophobic and graphic comic in look and is rather Terry Gilliam-esque in tone. But despite it being a surreal dip into an infamous story, the style of it works brilliantly, giving the viewer an ‘off kilter’ gaze into the back streets and high end brothels of 1912 Barcelona.
The disappearance of a rich girl causes alarm amongst the wealthy and journalist Sebastian Comas (Roger Casamajor), who is addicted to morphine after finding out his father raped his sister, begins an investigation on why so many children have gone missing in the district. It leads him to a high end brothel where children are on the menu.
A gothic horror story in every sense of the word, The Barcelona Vampiress is very atmospheric and its morphing from black and white to saturated colour, the sets and its use of animation, build up an overall image and feel that, according to the director, is based on the works of painters Ramón Casas, Francesc Masriera and Santiago Rusiñol.
A visual treat that draws you into it like a classic painting.
The Barcelona Vampiress is showing as part of Grimmfest’s 2021 Easter Edition from 1st-5th April. Get your tickets here.
Review by Tina from a streaming link kindly supplied by Grimmfest.