Romina (2018) by Diego Cohen is a true red herring of bad movies of 2018. Unusual, remarkable pile of crap.
When I see that the director of a film is also its executive producer, writer and even composer (!), I can’t stop myself from sniffing a disaster.
The plot of Romina (2018) on Netflix is as generic as a slasher’s plot can get. A bunch of stoner adolescents pack in a van and drive to chill in the woods. Obviously, something has to go wrong. Because it always does.
Diego Cohen makes a promising kick-off in his horror called Romina (2018)
An uneasy, almost catatonic girl is interviewed about numerous killings in the woods and asked to describe her recollections in every detail.
Just when she catches her first breath, the scene cuts to her stopping a car in the middle of nowhere. She’s covered in blood, panting. Then our view is attached to a car that drifts away from the crime scene. Several cop cars pass by in the opposite direction. We see a huge, white font announcing Romina (2018).
Cold, interesting start.
If I could, I would have ended Romina (2018) right there.
I’d stop right before the moment, when the director-screenwriter-producer-composer Diego Cohen butchers that fine beginning. The very next scene is typical mumblecore, an almost ten minutes long sequence in a stuffy car, when the audience is verbally raped by six people trying to scream their lines out at each other. I believe that even Tommy Wiseau understood the grandeur of silence in cinema. But in Romina (2018), people communicate as loud as possible.
The mystery that Cohen conjures revolves around one girl called – you guessed it – Romina. The girl is not among the teens in the car, but is presumably going to join the jeering pack. Surprisingly, she’s already at the camping site, but nobody’s eager for talking to her. What’s more, there is something awfully wrong about Romina. Like flashing her naked body a couple of times in the film for no specific reason.
I’ll save the spoilers here, nonetheless plot is probably the least of things I can spoil. Have you seen House Of Wax (2005)? Evil Dead (2013)? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)? Or any other slasher in the history for that matter? If the answer is yes, then you’re aware that script is literally the least of anybody’s concern. What matters is the meat.
Outside of the frames of a conspicuous beginning, Diego Cohen has little bliss to offer, and packs plethora of examples of his ill-conceived filmmaking. He does so completely unapologetically, as if cemented by own belief that Romina (2018) is actually an indie gem. Well, it could not stray farther away from that status.
Camera work is Romina’s (2018) greatest malfunction
One of Cohen’s most botched attempts at filmmaking is represented by the film’s cinematography.
Every time the camera zooms on a face of any of the characters, Cohen performs his “trademark” move, which is slightly turning it to the open sky or Mother Nature’s landscape. Clustered like beads in rosary, and turned uglier with each iteration, Cohen’s repetitive pattern reveals his astonishing lack of creativity. I didn’t count, albeit my guess is that every second scene is topped with that Mexican camera slide.
Troublesome are also glitches in the system, such as a primary-school mistake”did that dead body just move?” (It actually happens, right in the beginning of the film). In spite of all that amateurism, Cohen wades on, and even keeps these most preposterous bits in the final cut of the film.
Romina (2018) is also a mess acting-wise
Apart from the obvious mistakes and cinematographic errors, there are the clueless actors. A cacophony, caused by their yapping and let’s-talk-at-the-same-time mannerism, amped up my impression that Romina (2018) was made by absolute amateurs. Frankly, none of that jabber makes sense, even to Spanish speakers.
There is no character development either, because Cohen treats these people as fodder meat. Meat that can’t even remain dead when killed. And as if this wasn’t enough, Cohen is so flippantly vigorous about his horror masterpiece that he ends it with a sequel-opening twist. That twist is also rounded with the now-famous Mexican camera slide.
One thing that’s still boggling my mind is how in the hell did Romina (2018) become a Netflix’s purchase. If masterpieces such masterpieces land a contract, I’m seriously beginning to think about pursuing a similar career.
Romina (2018) – Culturally Hated or Loved?
Romina (2018) by Netflix is the worst film of 2018, and every person included in the chain of its conception, production and distribution should be banned from the film industry.
Hate Grade: 9.5/10
Director: Diego Cohen
Writer: Diego Cohen
Starring: Francisca Lozano, Arantza Ruiz, Oliver Nava
Cinematographer: Diego Cohen
Composer: Diego Cohen
Where to watch: Netflix
And here’s the trailer of Romina (2018):
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