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Review: “32 Malasana Street” is a Ghost Story about Rejection at Nightstream Film Festival

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Review: "32 Malasana Street" is a Ghost Story about Rejection at Nightstream Film Festival

32 Malasana Street, directed by Albert Pintó, is a stylish, paranormal film about a ghost, set in Madrid, Spain. Most movies about ghosts are actually about the family, but Malasana Street 32 isn’t about the family; it’s about the ghost. The film was written by Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, David Orea, and Salvador S. Molina and is based on a true story.

A family moves from a village to Madrid to live in a new flat left empty for years. It’s filled with furniture and possessions of the former occupant, who perhaps, is still there. Or possibly living next door in the creepy flat, that is permanently vacant. It’s a big move for the family, hoping to make their way in the large city.

Candela (Bea Segura), the mother, works as a clerk, and the father (a superb Iván Marcos) is struggling. Amparo, the older daughter (Begoña Vargas), babysits the youngest boy, Rafael, played by Iván Renedo. The flat is a godsend. But the ghost doesn’t like the new family, and it immediately starts to scare them.

32 Malasana Street Claw to Face

It starts small by stealing a marble, but soon the ghost grows in power, and the mind-games escalate. It does all the things that spirits in films do to scare you but then the ghost appears to Rafael, a child, in a silly and creepy form, and oh my god, I don’t think I’d ever sleep again if I saw it in real life.

A residual ghost haunting is a moment in time that replays itself; a noisy ghost is a poltergeist, but what about an interactive ghost?—that’s another thing altogether. There’s an old wive’s tale that says if you want to get rid of a ghost, you have to tell it to go. But what if a ghost wanted something, something personal, and only you could give it? In 32 Malasana Street, the ghost is powerful enough to ask for what it wants.

It’s a sad story; in 32 Malasana Street, the ghost is an outsider, a lost soul, a person rejected for who she was when she lived. She shouldn’t have been an outsider; they should have valued her. She was hurt so badly by rejection that when she died, she remained forever. But the new family is lovely. Why not enjoy their company? Because the ghost doesn’t like them, she wishes them ill, and scaring them is the only thing she wants except for one other thing.

32 Malasana Street TV

Though 32 Malasana Street is based on true events, I couldn’t find any links to a similar ghost story happening to a family in Madrid or Spain. Perhaps it didn’t take place in Madrid, or even in Spain, though I still couldn’t find the original ghost story. Maybe it’s based on an incident that happened to one of the screenwriters.

I hope to find out more; if it turns out to be a Blair Witch type thing, that’s cool too; it was imaginative enough to wonder about it. Ghost stories are fun; and an interesting social phenomenon, a subject thoroughly researched by Jacques Vallée, an academic with the oddest ideas about ghosts and reality.

32 Malasana Street is a thoughtful film about acceptance. There is one original, creepy scare in the movie, but most of the scares are big-budget-ish, similar to The Conjuring and other films. But that’s not what’s really interesting about the film. The most interesting thing about the film is the ghost. It’s her story and a moving one.

32 Malasana Street premiered at Nightstream, a virtual collective genre festival, and will exclusively stream on Shudder.

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