Michelle Garza Cervera’s debut feature Huesera: The Bone Woman This film has been making mommy-brain horrors at the film festival circuit over the last year. It is currently playing in select theatres and will be available on VOD next Wednesday. It’s a creepy character study about a woman who has made a lot of compromises in her life, finding her at a vulnerable moment when she is beginning to feel the enormity of conforming to society’s pre-determined path for women.
Tragically, Huesera This is more of a drama with some horror imagery (see: Elevated Horror), than a simple scare-athon. Cervera is able to create a story that transcends the standard copy+paste format of pregnancy horror.
Being pregnant is frightening. I can’t even get pregnant, and I’m scared of it. And for every “It was the most amazing experience of my whole life.” sentiment someone shares with me, I’ve had friends and family express how pregnancy was the most trying, troubling, and harrowing year(s) of their life. Although every pregnancy is unique, the Expectation and Reality can be two very different experiences. This is the main point of Huesera and, more importantly, in Natalia Solián’s performance.
Valeria (Solián), is a complicated woman who has lived a life and makes decisions that only she would make. She doesn’t bumble through her own life letting other people dictate how she should feel and how she should act. It is clear that there is an expectation. She is surrounded by her sister, her husband and their parents. They are all happy to join her in making her feel guilty for wanting to make her own way. With every side-eyed observation, it becomes unbearable the burden of the life she expects of her.
Get in early Huesera: The Bone Woman, Valeria She is seen packing up her workshop in order to make room for her baby. She is clearly a very skilled furniture maker but as far as the world around her is concerned, that’s just a hobby to keep her mind occupied before she becomes a 24/7 mother. She takes her tools with her and stuffs them in a closet that already contains a bass guitar, and a box full of memories. Tucking versions of herself away has become too familiar And there just isn’t enough room for her to be a mother and Artist. One of the versions Valeria must die.
The darkness begins to creep in as her due date nears. And if you have a hard time listening to bones bend and crack (or break through skin in horrific detail) you’re gonna love the scares in Huesera: The Bone Woman. Valeria‘s nightmares include people jumping off buildings, breaking her own fingers like they’re crab legs, and an orgy of faceless people contorting and snapping their own limbs. It’s all really stomach-churning thanks to some brilliantly disgusting sound effects.
Michelle Garza Cervera’s Huesera: The Bone Woman It’s a refreshing take on a subgenre that seems to always tell the same story. Even Huesera isn’t free from those well-trodden beats but it still manages to surprise. Similar to last year’s Nanny, Huesera could be stripped of its nightmare imagery and still make for a really well-told drama. It’s light on Horror but it’s a darker and more frank movie about pregnancy than we’re usually given.
Michelle Garza Cervera’s Huesera: The Bone Woman is now playing in select theatres and lands on February 16. Share your thoughts with us (and any bizarre pregnancy dreams you experienced) over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord! Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.
[Review] Pregnancy Becomes A Nightmarish Prison in HUESERA: THE BONE WOMAN
Michelle Garza Cervera’s Huesera: The Bone Woman is a really interesting re-fresh on a subgenre that always seems to be telling the same story. Even Huesera It’s not without its pitfalls, but it manages to be surprising. Similar to last year Nanny, Huesera It could be stripped of the horror imagery, and still make for an excellent drama. While it may not be Horror, it does contain more information about pregnancy than is usual.
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