Grimmfest Review: The Barcelona Vampire

There are stories and legends of vampires in many cultures and societies around the world. Whilst this folklore deviates in many ways, the evil at the heart of it largely stays the same. It’s a term which has been bandied around as a way of stigmatising or targeting certain people and groups, or as cautionary tales for those not abiding by the ‘rules’, written or not. It’s also a concept which makes for a good news story. As is the case in The Barcelona Vampire.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Barcelona was a city of many contradictions. On the one hand, this modernist metropolis was prosperous and wealthy in both trade and culture. On the other, poverty, disease and squalor were commonplace. When the young daughter of a rich family goes missing, there’s a public outcry. The police arrest Enriqueta Marti (Nora Navas), a brothel owner and alleged witch. However, a journalist (Roger Casamajor) is unconvinced and descends into the dark streets of Raval to investigate.

The Barcelona Vampire is an intriguing period crime drama which brings the tale of the ‘Spanish Jack the Ripper’ to life. This is accomplished with a lot of style and panache, thanks to the inventive and brilliant cinematography of Josep M. Civit. This, along with director Lluís Danés’ eye for showmanship, ensures that The Barcelona Vampire will linger long after the credits roll. It’s a fascinating and immersive story which still puzzles to this day.

The Barcelona Vampire screens at Grimmfest Easter Horror Nights.

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