It’s that time of the year again. The month of October is upon us. So to celebrate, we at Full Circle Cinema put together another curated, month-long series with Screen Screams. This year, we will be checking our clocks as we wait in anticipation for the forbidden delight we call “the midnight movie”. And with midnight movies comes a variety of projects that are perhaps too niche for the masses. Today, we look at the effects of bullying while playing in the supernatural, 1984’s Poison for the Fairies.
Poison for the Fairies is a film that mixes a coming-of-age story with sinister witchcraft. We have some Charlie Brown-esque scenes, with only a couple of instances for seeing adult faces on screen. For the most part, the film centers itself on children. Verónica (Ana Patricia Rojo), a 10-year-old with no friends because of her strangeness, takes an interest in the supernatural. This changes when a new student Flavia (Elsa María Gutiérrez) catches a glimpse what Verónica is doing. What spirals from there is a journey through childhood bullying, and learning to overcome, through the wildest of means.
The best part of Poison for the Fairies is the end. The middle has a few high points that can catch your attention, but it frustratingly focuses on Flavia believing everything she’s told from people her age. Yes, she’s only 10, but she seems to listen to her parents for everything else. She was not raised in a religious household that would have had superstitions involved in her household. Her family is definitely on the richer side. Despite my reservations with this display of her character, I can leave it to the fact that she’s 10, and wants to wonder what things could be like in a mystical sense… most of the time.
Verónica in Poison for the Fairies leans into the bruja lore of Mexico. She deals with the Devil and the whole nine yards. She manages to lie her way around into getting power over Flavia because of coincidence. When she sees Flavia’s family’s wealth she feels entitled to it because Flavia has everything. What does it matter if Verónica can take some of it? She gets greedy and starts to do everything in her power to take more. And with Flavia, Verónica’s power is great.
Overall, Poison for the Fairies holds nothing to keep my attention for it. The best thing it does is the ending scene, which left me cheering beyond belief at the demise of Verónica. There is no active exploration into the lore the film depends on to tell its story. It can’t be understated how much the story just absolutely bored me to death because of it. The film flounders in its endeavors to tell a complete story, and even the story it tells fails to gather the attention span of its viewers. –Katie Rentschler
Poison for the Fairies is available on DVD.