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Saturday, October 8, 2011

[4.25/10] La herencia Valdemar II: La sombra prohibida a.k.a. The Valdemar Legacy II (2011)


La herencia Valdemar II:
La sombra prohibida

a.k.a.
The Valdemar Legacy II (2011)

Brief review: Last year, Spanish newcomer José Luis Alemán surprised us with "La herencia Valdemar" - a stylishly old-fashioned 'haunted house' horror thriller that delivered. Sadly, in 2011 he brings us a sub-par sequel that doesn't do justice to the original. At all. It's kinda hard to believe that Alemán has directed both films, since the first movie and this one barely have something in common in terms of execution, visual style and plot development. While the original was beautifully-shot, well-acted and gripping from beginning to the end, this sequel suffers from clumsy pacing, unengaging characters, Alemán's confused and uninspired direction, and a plot that feels all over the place and never really comes together. Visually, "La herencia Valdemar II" also fails to surpass its predecessor or to make a big impression. The film is lacking in production values, the settings are nowhere nearly as eerie and atmospheric as in the first movie, the cinematography is bland, and the special effects are quite poor, except for the well-designed CGI creature that appears at the end. The performances are also disappointing and forgettable, as it seems like almost all the actors involved don't really care about their (flat) characters and the movie as a whole.

Overall summary: Unlike its solid, creepy and nicely-crafted predecessor, "La herencia Valdemar II" is a huge step in the wrong direction, and despite its exciting final act, it feels rushed, contrived, unimaginative, and it's quite tedious for most of its running time.

4 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

Hey there, hon! It's great to have you back on the movie review scene. It's been boring as hell without and your insightful commentary. :) Don't think I'll be watching this. I hate when the sequels for such amazing films fall far short of the mark. Sounds like I will not be wasting my time.

Nebular said...

Hi, sweetheart! Yep, I'm finally back and I feel great doing my thing again. Ah, thanks Mel, that's so sweet of you. I missed writing and commenting as well. It's been a while.

You should avoid this at all costs. I love Spanish cinema and I thought the original was great, but this sequel really fell short.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to seek out the first one. Shame, the creature on the cover is cool. Looks like something out of a Lovecraft story.

Nebular said...

Alex, that's exactly what went through my mind the first time I saw the poster. Unfortunately, the coolest thing about this sequel is its poster. You should definitely check out the first movie - it was creepy, gripping and had this retro vibe to it. :)