SISTER DEATH on Netflix is a new horror movie from Spain (org. title: Hermana muerte). It’s from the universe of the popular Netflix 2017 horror movie VERÓNICA. The director is also still horror master Paco Plaza. I absolutely loved the third act. Read our full Sister Death movie review here!
SISTER DEATH is a new Netflix horror movie from Spain (org. title: Hermana muerte). The film very appropriately had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival, and now the world can enjoy it on Netflix. This movie could be called a prequel to the 2017 Netflix horror movie hit Verónica, but it only focuses on one character from that movie.
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That’s why it’s labeled “a return to the universe of Verónica” which makes more sense. The runtime is only 89 minutes, so we’re at a solid horror movie sweet spot. Personally, I would’ve liked to hear much more about the childhood of the title character, but maybe we’ll get that in another movie. Fingers crossed!
Continue reading our Sister Death movie review below. Find it on Netflix from October 27, 2023.
The origin story of Sister Death
From watching Verónica, we already know that the real name of Sister Death is Sister Narcisa. It’s a throw-away line from that movie really, as the nun comments that her nickname is better than Sister Narcisa. In this new Netflix horror movie that takes place in the same universe, we’re getting the origin story of Sister Narcisa.
The absolute star of this movie is of course Aria Bedmar in the title role. Or rather, she’s Hermana Narcisa as the nickname Hermana Muerte actually stems from Verónica as we’ll see. Fortunately, Aria Bedmar (Muted) is perfectly cast. She delivers a very strong performance!
In this movie, we’re in post-war Spain, which is war-torn and slowly healing while also battling new issues. Sister Narcisa (Aria Bedmar) is a young novice who arrives at a former convent-turned-school for girls. She’s there to become a teacher, but she also has a past known for her supernatural powers.
In fact, as soon as she arrives, everyone already knows who she is.
We also get to experience this in brief flashbacks and via newspaper articles. As a young girl, she had a profound religious experience, which has impacted how everyone views her. Unfortunately for Sister Narcisa, she’s also been impacted by this, and not in the best of ways. In fact, she’s starting to doubt her faith.
I like this more than The Nun
Not long after Sister Narcisa arrives at the school for girls (and former active convent), strange events start happening. Well, from the very first night she’s there really. The increasingly inexplicable and disturbing situations lead her to unravel several well-buried secrets. Some concern things done to the convent and the nuns that resided there.
Other secrets have to do with what the nuns themselves have done.
And no, we’re not dealing with a demonic nun like Valak from The Conjuring Universe and The Nun. However, it’s difficult not to compare the two. Especially as part of the plot from The Nun 2 also impacts the story in Sister Death – and takes place near the time same.
For me, however, Sister Death works much better than The Nun. I love the cast of both movies, but the story and the choice (as well as quality) of special effects are much better in Sister Death. Also, I actually did find this movie scary toward the end.
The ending of Sister Death
As already mentioned, I loved the ending of Sister Death. Well, the entire third act really. Everything I’d been expecting and hoping for suddenly came at me with full force. It should be noted that I had just re-watched Verónica to get ready for this movie from the same universe.
Now, that movie is still extremely terrifying to me. And not just the third act!
However, I also feel that I should respect the whole origin angle with this one. Obviously, this makes for a very different kind of movie. So while I was a bit disappointed with parts of this movie that may be mostly due to high expectations.
Fortunately, the ending of Sister Death more than made up for this. The entire third act was an absolute pleasure to watch. Or, you know, maybe “pleasure” isn’t the right word as this is a horror movie and things get a little crazy. And brutal. An absolute horror movie pleasure, I suppose.
Also, yes, it does end up tying in perfectly with Verónica. I would expect nothing less from this director!
Watch Sister Death on Netflix now!
Horror master Paco Plaza is the director of Sister Death, just as he was the director of Verónica. Ever since [REC], I have been a huge fan of Paco Plaza and will gladly watch whatever he directs and/or writes. He just does not make bad movies, and a quick look at his IMDb resume shows consistently high ratings. Some are higher than others, obviously, but still.
The screenplay comes from Jorge Guerricaechevarria (30 Coins, The Warning) and Paco Plaza, so none of the other writers of the Verónica movie are attached. Nor do they need to really, as this takes place in a very different setting. The two also worked together on the 2019 crime thriller Eye for an Eye (org. title: Quien a hierro mata).
I do have to mention that I did not love the choice of music in Sister Death. In Verónica, which takes place in 1991, music by the Spanish rock band Héroes del Silencio was used a lot. That made perfect sense to me. In this new movie, that takes place decades earlier, the music used at times has a techno/dance vibe that just didn’t really work for me. Maybe this also disturbed my overall experience.
While we’re giving this movie a 3 out of 5, the ending (or third act as a whole) would be rated closer to a 5 out of 5. For me, it just took too long to get there, so in fairness, we’re closer to 3½ out of 5. After all, we also rated the two The Nun movies as a 3 and I do like Sister Death more!
Sister Death (org. title: Hermana muerte) is on Netflix globally from October 27, 2023.
Director: Paco Plaza
Writers: Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Paco Plaza
Cast: Aria Bedmar, Almudena Amor, Maru Valdivielso, Luisa Merelas, Chelo Vivares, Consuelo Trujillo, Sara Roch, Olimpia Roch
After a miraculous childhood, Narcisa becomes a novice and starts teaching girls in a former convent haunted by a disturbing presence.