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The Valdemar Legacy 2: The Forbidden Shadow

Gothic yarn is scary for all the wrong reasons.

With:
With: Oscar Jaenada, Silvia Abascal, Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Risueno, Norma Ruiz, Santi Prego, Jose Luis Torrijo, Jesus Olmedo, Jose Torrijo, Maria Alfonsa Rosso, Eusebio Poncela.

For a gothic yarn, “The Valdemar Legacy 2: The Forbidden Shadow” is scary for all the wrong reasons. Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, as was helmer Jose Luis Aleman’s more interesting “The Valdemar Legacy,” this too-ambitious tale of a man seeking to reanimate his dead wife is unable to do the same with the raw materials it’s based on. Although there are visually impressive moments courtesy of pic’s decent-sized budget, the legacy of this under-achieving, over-earnest item is unlikely to extend further than screenings at horror fests.

Eduardo (Rodolfo Sancho) and Ana (Norma Ruiz) are trying to find their colleague Luisa (Silvia Abascal), who went missing after a visit to the lonesome Valdemar mansion. Teaming with detective Nicolas (Oscar Jaenada), the two encounter all manner of cliches, including psychopaths Santiago (Santi Prego, enjoyably hammy) and Damaso (Jose Luis Torrijo), a gypsy woman (Maria Alfonsa Rosso), power-hungry Maximilian (Eusebio Poncela), old manuscripts and Cthulhu, an impressively rendered digimonster. Atmospherics are fine, but otherwise it’s grave-turning risibility all the way, courtesy of a plot that hurtles forward at the expense of character and credibility.

The Valdemar Legacy 2: The Forbidden Shadow

Spain

Production: A Universal Pictures Intl. release of a La Cruzada Entertainment, Origen production. (International sales: Imagina, Madrid.) Produced by Jose Luis Aleman. Executive producer, Inigo Marco. Directed, written by Jose Luis Aleman.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), David Azacano; editor, Frank Gutierrez; music, Arnau Bataller; art director, Luis Valles (Koldo); costume designer, Bina Daigeler. Reviewed at Cine Acteon, Madrid, Feb. 3, 2010. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Oscar Jaenada, Silvia Abascal, Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Risueno, Norma Ruiz, Santi Prego, Jose Luis Torrijo, Jesus Olmedo, Jose Torrijo, Maria Alfonsa Rosso, Eusebio Poncela.

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