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Huesera: The Bone Woman 2023 Movie Review
Motherhood and society’s expectations of a woman can be as terrifying as any story from the afterlife. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” explored this through a subtle thriller and now director Michelle Garza Cervera does it in a different way, addressing this reality with the support of the Mexican imaginary and the horror genre in “Huesera” , a debut feature intelligent, empathetic and chilling.
After trying a lot, Valeria (Natalia Solián) is finally pregnant and everything is happiness in her life and that of her partner Raúl (Alfonso Dosal). However, as the days go by, Valeria begins to feel an overwhelming restlessness that is accompanied by terrifying visions (sources of effective jumpscares ). To try to overcome this terror that no one seems to understand (“you’re just pregnant”, the doctor tells her), Valeria reconnects with an important figure from her past (Mayra Batalla, extraordinary) and, desperate, she resorts to black magic.
With excellent performances, astute use of its color palette, enveloping sound design and a magnificent script written by Cervera and Abia Castillo, “Huesera” skilfully captures a story of identity in limbo that defies the archaic taboos of society and in particular of the Latino family; In the midst of the terrifying events, we learn that the baby, soon to be born, represents what the family wants from Valeria and not what Valeria wants from her life. As a result, pregnancy becomes a physical and psychological battle.
Using terror to serve her narrative and not vice versa, Cervera explores the cost of motherhood through the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness to embrace society’s imposed patriarchal norms and expectations, only to find herself wrapped in a nightmare. which ends in a masterful third act populated by horror, broken bones, reconstruction and the peace of reunion. 2022 is still young but for now, “Bonesera” is the best horror movie of the year.