"Arresting Visuals and Spooky Atmosphere" - Joe Leydon, Variety
After receiving a phantom Eucharist, nine-year-old Ricky Banda becomes an instant celebrity in his devoutly religious community. At first it seems he has been chosen by the divine - until dark begin to surround him, and he appears to be under the shadow of something evil. Things take a terrifying turn when Ricky, his cousin Sara and his aunt Leti become trapped in their house, held hostage and terrorized by a phantom , and it's clear that the Devil has found a way in...
Actors: Nito Perez Jr., Kevin Rankin, Maria Fonseca Sotolongo, Rico Thurwalker
Directors: Benny Matthews
Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R - Restricted
Studio: Lions Gate
DVD Release Date: July 4, 2006
Run Time: 82 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
English Dolby Digital Stereo [CC]
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Santeria is unique and interesting because it is both horror movie and cultural experience. It isn't the fastest paced horror movie available, nor is it the most frightening. It is a bilingual horror movie, thick with a mix of Catholicism, Santeria, and even Mayan faiths.
The story surrounds a young boy, Ricky, who sees visions of the Virgin Mary. Many in his community rally around him, believing that he is receiving a miracle. However others, including his perhaps mentally unstable cousin Sara, believe something far more sinister is happening. Others aren't sure what is happening, and the end of the film, it's most shocking sequence, doesn't provide easy answers.
One major downfall of the film is it's slow start. The first twenty minutes are, quite frankly, boring. If you can make it through, you're rewarded with a very fun, interesting horror movie for the next hour. It isn't polished by any means, and the special effects are pretty third rate- no big budget blockbuster here. What the film lacks in polish it makes up in heart. It's apparently a labor of love. The acting isn't bad at all, and the plot interesting.
All and all, this is a fun and entertaining horror movie, but because of the slow start and the bilingual aspect, it might not be for everyone. This is more `artistic' than `horrific' yet it's still good.