Antonio Poyju, Argentina, Fabian Forte, Fernando Alcaraz, German De Silva, horror, Isabel Quinteros, Julieta Brito, Laura Manzaneda, Legions, Lorena Vega, Marta Haller, Mauro Altschuler, movies, reviews, Victor Malagrino
March 27, 2023
by Carla Hay
Directed by Fabián Forte
Spanish with subtitles
Culture Representation: Taking place in Argentina, the comedic horror film “Legions” features a Latino cast of characters representing the working-class and middle-class.
Culture Clash: An elderly, powerful sorcerer, who is locked away in a psychiatric institution hopes to reunite with his long-lost daughter to save Argentina from demonic forces.
Culture Audience: “Legions” will appeal mainly to people who don’t mind watching tacky-looking and incoherent horror movies.
“Legions” tries too hard to be bizarre. The end result is a horror movie that isn’t very scary. The visual effects are also very cheap-looking and tacky. The father-daughter sorcerer storyline isn’t as interesting as it could have been. And the movie’s intentional comedy is often clumsily handled and not very funny at all.
Written and directed by Fabián Forte, “Legions” (which takes place in Argentina) tells the story of a powerful sorcerer named Antonio Poyju, an elderly man (played by Germán De Silva), who has been locked up in a psychiatric institution for many years. He says in a voiceover in the beginning of the movie: “Some people call me a shaman, a sorcerer. I prefer to be called a mediator between worlds. I belong to a lineage of powerful men. My blood is sacred.”
A flashback to 1980 shows Antonio as a young man (played by Fernando Alcaraz) in the Missionary Jungle, where Antonio says he confronted “a very dangerous demon, from the lower levels.” In this flashback, a 16-year-old girl (played by Julieta Brito) appears to be dead on the ground, until a young Antonio blows smoke in her face. She then appears to come to life, and she attacks him.
She says to Antonio: “Sorcerer, I condemn your offspring,” as Antonio throws holy water on her. Viewers later find out that this girl was daughter Elena, and she was possessed by a demon. Did the demon’s curse happen?
A flash-forward to the present day shows that Antonio has heartbreak in his life: Elena disppeared from his life in 1980, shortly after the demon’s curse. Antonio has been looking for her ever since. Another flashback shows that when Elena was a baby, Antonio once found his wife Amanda (played by Laura Manzaneda) with black bile coming out of her eyes and mouth, after she was seen in a trance asking something unseen: “Why do you want to take our baby.”
In the psychatric institution, Antonio complains to a psychiatrist: “I’m surrounded by faithless young people.” The movie then goes on a very dull and weird tangent by wasting a lot of time showing a dramatic play that is being staged in the institution. The play is based on Antonio’s life story, so he is overseeing it and acting like he’s some kind of important director. Other patients in the institution are elderly Roberto (played by Mauro Altschuler), middle-aged Olga (played by Marta Haller) and young Eduardo (played by Víctor Malagrino), who at various times bicker with each other and with Antonio.
It’s enough to say that an adult Elena (played Lorena Vega) comes back into her father Antonio’s life. The spirit of Elena’s dead grandmother Isarrina (played by Isabel Quinteros) possesses Elena and warns Elena and Antonio that a demon named Kuaraya wants to sacrifice Elena on “the red moon’s night.” And then there’s some nonsense about Antonio and Elena having to team up to save Argentina from a demon takeover.
Overall, “Legions” is not the worst horror movie ever. It just doesn’t tell the story in a way that is very intriguing. The acting performances aren’t impressive. It’s one of those horror film that fills up a lot of “jump scare” time with scenes of demon sightings and people with blood coming out of various body parts. The inevitable showdown is a jumbled mess that offers no surprise. “Legions” is ultimately a forgettable horror film among the many horror films about people with supernatural powers who try to stop demons.
XYZ Films released “Legions” on digital and VOD on January 19, 2023. The movie was released in Argentina on December 1, 2022.