I always thought the horror movie section on Netflix was somewhat ‘family friendly’, as 90% of the flicks they have are either PG-13 or, in general, rather tame.
Therefore, when I first heard about Romina, a 2018 Mexican ‘rape and revenge’ movie described on various message boards as disturbing and unsettling, I couldn’t wait to watch it.
Having the truly disturbing and gut-wrenching We Are The Flesh (2017) as my last encounter with Mexican cinema, I expected Romina to be extremely uneasy to sit through and filled with insane scenes of violence and distasteful content.
Alas, this highly indie horror/drama flick was one of the most disappointing experiences I had watching a film in a long, long time. Disappointing, though, doesn’t automatically equal bad: for instance, some of you might recall my rant on Revenge (2018) – a critically acclaimed ‘rape and revenge’ movie that was, indeed, a big let-down. Sure, I was disappointed with that film, but I would never deny it was very well-made and easy to watch and to be mildly entertained by.
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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My review is also available on IMDb – Romina
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Romina, on the other hand, is really an endurance test: not because it’s disturbing or graphic, but due to the unbelievable inaptness that’s tangible in every scene.
Believe it or not, this flick started out more than promising, showing to the viewer, in retrospect, a camping site (called Crystal Lake… very original!) where a few bodies are hanging around, tied up and mutilated in quite an effective way. If you think that sets the tone of Romina, which is what I was hoping for, you’d soon be proven wrong as we’re introduced to the most annoying characters ever – a bunch of rich and horny kids – portrayed awfully by six incompetent ‘actors’.
The story, simple as you might expect from this type of flicks, is woven around those characters who go on vacation, find a lonely girl who for no reason goes around with her tits out and decide to rape he. However, Romina has a 70-minute-long runtime, but nothing really happens until 50 minutes in! And when something does happen, it’s all off-screen.
The rape is off-screen (fair enough), the revenge part is off-screen, the gore happens off-screen, characters are attacked off-screen… at one point, I wish I had an audio-book describing the events, since it would have had the same impact!
Besides the lack of any interesting moment in the whole film – apart from the first 3 minutes – as I said before, Romina is filled with painfully awful performances, shallow characters who are infuriating and as smart as potatoes, incredibly pointless establishment shots (which remind me quite a bit of Lake Alice, 2017… that made me chuckle, at least).
Yet, the somewhat charming and beautiful scenery is shamefully ruined by the atrocious directing: whenever there’s something pleasant to look at, the camera cuts away from it like it was something hideous and, instead, focuses on rocks and twigs for no apparent reason… it’s not even foreshadowing, 50% of the shots in this bastard of a movie are pointless, dull and boring.
Also, nothing in Romina makes any freaking sense! Nothing is explained or hinted at, the characters’ action (or lack thereof) is nonsensical and retarded, scenes are edited in a way that gives them no beginning and no end, there are 5 minutes in the movie where you can’t see anything nor hear anything because the screen is plain dark for no reason… I’m not making this shit up, Romina really got made and it’s on Netflix, that’s not just a delusion of my psyche.
I won’t even talk about the terrible music, the godawful editing, the embarrassing ending, the [spoiler alert… who cares though? Just don’t watch this pile of crap] twist that has no purpose nor impact. Romina might just be the worst ‘rape and revenge’ movie of all time (and I watched most of the video nasties, so I had my fair share of embarrassing exploitation flicks) and one of the most poorly made films I’ve ever seen. It bugs me this ‘thing’ was made, let alone it’s on Netflix. How did that happen?