ELENA KNOWS on Netflix is a movie from Argentina (org. title: Elena sabe). It’s a drama with a thriller mystery plotdriver. The Netflix movie is based on a book and is full of pain and heartbreak. Read our full Elena Knows movie review here!

ELENA KNOWS on Netflix is a movie from Argentina (org. title: Elena sabe). The official runtime is 1 hour and 40 minutes, but it’s really only 1 hour and 30 minutes as the last ten minutes are just end credits. I know this will matter to some people, so I wanted to mention the shorter runtime upfront.

The movie is based on a book that I have not read. However, if it’s anything like this movie adaptation, it’s saturated with pain and heartbreak. Officially, this is a drama, but the core story is about a mother trying to get to the bottom of her daughter’s mysterious death. In that sense, thriller and mystery become plot drivers.

Continue reading our Elena Knows movie review below. Find the movie on Netflix from November 24, 2023.

A very unlikable title character

In Elena Knows, we get the story of how a mother tries to understand her daughter’s death. Officially it’s a suicide, but Elena cannot and will not accept this “verdict” for her daughter’s demise.

Trying to find answers is made extremely difficult by severe physical challenges. These are the result of her rapidly advancing Parkinson’s disease. She’s gotten a terminal diagnosis and is fully aware that time is not on her side. Also, she is fierce and does not take no for an answer.

As Elena searches for the person responsible for her daughter Rita’s sudden death, she is reminded of their life together. Every little thing in her normal day brings back memories. Most memories aren’t particularly nice. Or rather, Elena wasn’t very nice to Rita. The memories force her to confront what kind of mother she was.

She was not a very good one. Mostly, she caused her daughter a lot of pain and sadness. Not that this was a goal in itself, but any inconvenience to Elena was too much. Never mind that Rita got her heart broken multiple times in the same instances.

Elena Knows (2023) – Review | Netflix Movie

Pain and suffering

Mercedes Morán (El Angel) is brilliant in the title role. It’s especially interesting to see her play Elena at different points in life. She has a very deteriorating health and in the present day, she is unable to really look up. When we see her in a flashback, it becomes even more obvious that she is grossly restricted later.

Also, the daughter Rita, who dies early on, is portrayed with so much heart and pain by Érica Rivas (Wild Tales).

While the present day is far from uplifting in any way, the painful parts of the movie come from the flashbacks. Mother and daughter didn’t really have the best relationship. Mostly, Elena was a mother who never really allowed her daughter to be herself. Any wish or want she had was squashed if it didn’t align with what Elena wanted.

It is both brutal and heartbreaking, though we definitely also see Rita stand up for herself and fight. Just not against her own mother, but rather for her mother. A perfect example of how even dysfunctional families can pass on strength and power. Often unwittingly, but still.

Watch Elena Knows on Netflix now!

The director of this new Argentinean Netflix movie is Anahí Berneri, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Gabriela Larralde. The movie is based on the novel by Claudia Piñeiro. Despite this movie telling a strong story, I can’t imagine I’d want to read the novel. If it’s anything like the movie, it’s too sad and painful.


Our review of the Argentinian Shudder Horror Movie WHEN EVIL LURKS >

I realize that calling a movie “sad and painful” isn’t exactly something that makes many want to watch it. However, it really is a good and strong movie. You just shouldn’t watch it if you’re already feeling a bit down.

And yet, the final act of the movie lets us see something more to their story than what we’ve witnessed earlier. It’s both surprising and completely in line with everything we’ve seen. Still, it does turn things a bit on their head in a strange way. Well, it did for me, anyway.

Elena Knows (org. title: Elena sabe) is on Netflix from November 24, 2023.


Director: Anahí Berneri
Screenwriters: Anahí Berneri, Gabriela Larralde
Novel: Claudia Piñeiro
Cast: Mercedes Morán, Érica Rivas, Mercedes Scapola, Miranda de la Serna, Agustina Muñoz, Susana Pampín


As her Parkinson’s disease progresses, a woman leads a relentless investigation into finding those responsible for the sudden death of her daughter.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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