A Frenzy in Venice

April 20, 2022

Roque Baños scores Álex de la Iglesia Latest Flourish of Visceral Horror in VENECIAFRENIA

– Randall D. Larson

VENECIAFRENIA is a 2021 Spanish slasher thriller film directed by Álex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS, PERFECT STRANGERS, THE DEVIL AND THE BLACKSMITH, 800 BULLETS, WITCHING AND BITCHING). It is the first film belonging to the “Fear Collection” label created by Sony Pictures International Productions and Pokeepsie Films in association with Amazon Prime Video.

“De la Iglesia isn’t a household name, even among most horror buffs, but he absolutely should be,” wrote Kyle Anderson in an article about the director for The Nerdist website in 2021. “You’ve maybe seen his more recent films, THE LAST CIRCUS or WITCHING AND BITCHING. His output beginning in 1993 combines his comic book art background with themes of extreme violence, blasphemy, dark comedy, and folk lore into something uniquely fascinating.”

In Veneciafrenia: “In nature there is an indissoluble link between beauty and death,” so is translated the film’s Spanish-language synopsis. “The human being, indebted to his environment, imitates what he observes. Like mosquitoes attracted to the brightest lighthouse, tourists are turning off the lights of the most beautiful city on the planet. The agony of the last decades has unleashed anger among the Venetians. To stop the invasion, some have organized themselves, unleashing their survival instinct. Our protagonists, a simple group of Spanish tourists, travel to Venice with the intention of having fun, oblivious to the problems that surround them. There they will be forced to fight to save their own lives.”

The film stars Ingrid García Jonsson, Silvia Alonso, Goize Blanco, and Nicolás lloro.

VENECIAFRENIA was written by Álex de la Iglesia alongside Jorge Guerricaechevarría. Produced by Sony Pictures International Productions and Pokeepsie Films in association with Amazon Prime Video. The film has been scored by Spanish composer Roque Baños (DON’T BREATHE, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB, EVIL DEAD 2013, THE COMMUTER, Spike Lee’s OLDBOY), who has been scoring both Spanish and English-language films. He has received numerous awards for his compositional work, including the Spanish Goya Award for Best Original Score in both 2008 and 2009.

“It was only a matter of time before there would be a coming-together of the giallo-inspired imagination of Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia and the Floating City, but as scarlet-hued, murderous Venice-set thrillers go, the director’s sixteenth feature is less DON’T LOOK NOW and more Don’t Look Too Closely,” wrote Jonathan Holland in a review of the film for ScreenDaily after the film’s Sitges premiere last October. “For boldness and drama, if not for luridness, the striking title sequence, above a driving theme from Roque Baños, outdoes most of what comes after. The first minute sets the tone…” He later adds, “It’s spectacular flourishes of nastiness that VENECIAFRENIA does best.”

VENECIAFRENIA made its world premiere at the 54th Sitges Film Festival (FICFC) on October 9, 2021; it’s theatrical release date is scheduled for April 22, 2022.

Watch the film’s English-dubbed trailer:

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