Romina is a new slasher movie on Netflix. It’s a low-budget production from Mexico, but unfortunately, it leaves you thinking “WTF?”. And not in a good way!
I knew nothing about Romina before watching it on Netflix. Well, I knew it was a horror movie, but nothing more. Not even that it was a slasher. Also, I knew it was from Mexico and a low-budget production.
As a rule, I love productions in Spanish. Whether from countries like Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay, they have made some brilliant thriller and horror movies.
Romina started out pretty interestingly when six friends go camping at a place called Crystal Lake. Now we know why the release on Friday the 13th was obvious.
Also, there’s a guy who looks like he should be working at a gas station in rural Texas. Oh yeah, the camp groundskeeper is straight out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fun as a spoof, but really, that is all it is.
Mostly, Romina feels like a film school project. And not a very good one!
Oh, the stereotypes!
One way to enjoy Romina would be to create a drinking game. You could take a shot whenever you roll your eyes at the screen. Of course, you would have to stay awake for the first half hour to get that far. The first 30 minutes is basically the group of “friends” talking.
Usually, I like the slow-burn style and getting to know the characters. That way, you care when they get killed later on. When watching Romina, you shouldn’t expect to really like any of the characters. This means you don’t care if they get killed. And you know they will since this is a slasher movie.
Also, the acting isn’t exactly great. Fair enough, the characters are one-dimensional and grotesquely stereotypical, but still. This just feels like a project with no real heart or backbone.
At least do something to give it an edge. Throw in some humor to show that this is a genre film and you want to give the fans something to enjoy.
Tropes, tropes, tropes
Horror fans will have guessed all elements of the plot way ahead of any reveals. Everything that happens is a horror trope with another trope on top. Oh, and look, we also included this horror movie trope.
And again, that’s fine if you do this in a tongue-in-cheek way like Scream or over-the-top like Sam Raimi. With Romina, it all feels very serious and dramatic in an oddly laidback way.
There’s also a rape scene which may be the biggest trope. It is in fact completely unnecessary (in so many ways) and not at all relevant to the plot. The ending literally reveals that it has nothing to do with the plot.
The title character Romina
If you’ve watched a few horror movies – or any crime show on TV – you know everything that will happen. We all know who killed everyone. And since we see all the dead bodies at the very beginning, we also know who the “final girl” will be.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that her name is “Romina”.
The title character is portrayed by Francisca Lozano, who leaves no positive impression. At all. She’s not an actress I’m familiar with and I don’t need to ever see her again. She has virtually no lines, but she does take off her shirt a lot. Another good time to take a shot for a potential drinking game.
Consider yourself warned
I was really hoping for a treat since Romina was released on Netflix on a Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really find anything good about it. We very rarely give out just one star (or blood splatter), but we simply could not give this anymore.
Diego Cohen is the director, writer, editor, producer (and probably everything else) on this movie… and it shows. When we’re talking feature films, it’s rarely a good thing to have a one-man show going on. You have to include someone who can help you “kill your darlings” and keep the project on track.
If you do decide to watch Romina on Netflix, then just consider yourself warned. Also, you should know that while this is a “slasher horror movie”, you don’t see much slashing. Instead, you see the victims of slashing. Sure, this is easier (and cheaper), but with Romina, it feels both sloppy and lazy.
Also, it may have a runtime just shy of 80 minutes, but I promise you, it feels a whole lot longer. And what was the point?
Romina is out on Netflix in most countries worldwide now!
Director: Diego Cohen
Cast: Claudia Zepeda | Walter Bercht | Francisca Lozano | Roberto Beck | Arantza Ruiz | Oliver Nava | Eduardo Negrete | Victor Bonilla
A shocking assault inspires horrific violence when a group of teens encounters a girl from their school while camping in a remote spot.