'Alma' wants to be Netflix's great Spanish horror and mystery series but it doesn't focus and barely exceeds 'Fair: The darkest light'

REVIEWS MIKEL ZORRILLA (Google translation)

Netflix has already released about thirty Spanish series , some very good and others whose existence would almost be better to forget. Those inevitable are ups and downs as long as you place a notable importance on quantity, something the platform has been doing for years. The last to arrive has been 'Alma' this Friday, August 19, which falls short in its attempt to be the great Spanish horror series for Netflix.

It is not that the Spanish Netflix series have lavished much on the horror genre, because until now the only real attempt in that direction had been 'Fair: The darkest light' , which was canceled after its disappointing first and only season . I can tell you that 'Alma' is somewhat better than 'Fair: The Darkest Light', but let's not ring the bells either, because it's still not a big deal.

An attractive underdeveloped mystery
Created by Sergio G. Sánchez , screenwriter of the first two JA Bayona films and also head of the discreet 'The Secret of Marrowbone' , 'Alma' revolves around what happens after a mysterious bus accident that ends life of crowds of young students. Alma does survive, but in the process she loses her memory and has to try to reconstruct both what happened and his own identity.

Precisely one of the most successful moments of the series is everything that precedes that accident in the first episode. The series then manages to create that enigmatic climate necessary for one to want to know what exactly has happened, but when it comes to the truth, 'Alma' bets on an approach more typical of a youth drama, where the main bastion is the solvent work of Mireia Oriol , the great protagonist of the show.

However, what really helps to create some concern and expand the universe of the series is everything that surrounds the character played by Kandido Uranga . It is true that they focus more on a fantastic component than on exploring the most chilling side of the cast, but they are the moments that feel the most special in the series, although it is fair to point out that it is partly due to the demerits of everything located in the series. present.

There on paper we have the wisdom of letting the characters breathe so that the story grows from there, but when it comes to the truth most of them are quite monotonous, reaching the point of wasting the talent of actresses and something else consolidated as Milena Smit or Elena Irureta . I am clear that this was not the intention -in its own way it almost seems more like a (discreet) filmed novel than a purely audiovisual fiction-, but it seems that the aim is to equalize below than to do something with the interpreters that serves to hook us.

This leads to much more dramatic situations that almost fall on deaf ears, because using your characters as the main bastion is a good idea if you really work on them. What happens here is that you appreciate that they jump between characters more for the variety it offers than because any of them catches you.

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Perhaps to compensate for it, it jumps between genres on a regular basis, from youth drama to horror story, through the romantic, the mysterious, the fantastic and much more. There never seems to be a clear focus and the whole thing ends up feeling more like an extended introduction to the enigma it poses than anything else.

From a technical point of view, it cannot be said that 'Alma' is dazzling - when it offers the most in this way, it is when it embraces that fantastic element that, unfortunately, is very dosed -, because visually, what stands out the most is the beauty of some Asturian landscapes . Beyond that the production design work is convincing, but even there it's the same as other levels: it lacks drive and determination.

continue with it in a possible second season.