Huesera: The Bone Woman

February 10, 202370/1006 min
Starring
Alfonso Dosal, Natalia Solián , Mayra Batalla
Written by
Michelle Garza Cervera and Abia Castillo. Patricio Saiz ( screenplay advisor)
Directed by
Michelle Garza Cervera
Run Time
1h 33min
Release Date
February 10th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

              Motherhood has always been a go-to for a good horror film, with maternal love always serving as the bright light against the darkness. There has been a break from that norm though, as some films have started to address the conflicted feelings parents have towards their children. It can be interesting to see the flip side of “ I will protect my child at all cost” that we usually get. Sometimes it is up to horror films to step over that line and possibly bring up real truths.

                Valeria (Natalia Solián) and Raul (Alfonso Dosal) have been trying to have a child and their dream has finally come true when Valeria gets pregnant. Excitement is rampant at first as Valeria, who is very talented when it comes to wood, even builds her baby’s crib and other things. Although there is mostly happiness for Valeria’s impending motherhood, not everyone thinks she will make a good mother. Valeria’s sister Vero (Sonia Couoh) thinks she is not ready, an opinion that comes from an accident Valeria had with a child when she was a teenager. Regardless of Vero’s opinion, this is happening and as the months pass, Valeria seems to disappear into darkness, instead of the light of having a living being growing inside her. A lot of that drift into darkness is brought upon by Valeria having frighting visions, which starts with her witnessing a woman jumping from a balcony across from her apartment. That is just the beginning of Valeria seeing things that others cannot, which causes the people around her to start to question her sanity. These episodes and the questions she gets pushes Valeria to seek comfort in someone from her past in Octavia (Mayra Batalla ), who with her aunt, are the only two to seem to believe her. Everything happening just leads to Valeria questioning if she is ready to be a mom and makes us question what exactly is the cause of  her visions.

Written by Abia Castillo and Michelle Garza Cervera, the later also directing, Huesera is largely subtle in its approach. La Huesera is the “bone woman”, a Mexican legend who collects skeleton parts, but there is no visit from someone like that. While everyone around her is happy for her, no one once ever asks Valeria how she is doing, even as things seem to get worse for her as her pregnancy progresses. As Huesera unfolds, is becomes a powerful drama that stages the inner workings of Valeria, in different facets, some physical, that at times will unsettle you. If phycological terror is not enough for you, there is also some good body horror that helps the film live up to its title in a way and the sound of cracking bones will haunt you.

Huesera really delivers on multiple fronts  but for me it is the performance by Solián that really makes it all work. You feel all of the emotions that Valeria is going though, which ultimately help you understand her decision by the end. When you add Garza Cervera’s direction in this, her feature debut, and the cinematography of Nur Rubio Sherwell, the result is a hauntingly beautiful picture. Huesera is a terrifying vision of unwanted motherhood, whose suspense works perfectly and a welcomed addition to a growing sub-genre in horror.

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