Film review: ‘The Curse of the Weeping Woman’ by Nick Gardener from ‘Built For Speed’

The Curse of The Weeping Woman comes from the conjuring stable which many will now know means a mix of moody supernatural horror and religious references. It also means a lottery in terms of quality as the two Conjuring films were some of the best horror flicks of the last 20 years while others in the franchise, such as The Nun were snoozers.

Weeping Woman is set in 70’s LA and sees recently widowed social worker Anna (Linda Cardellini) battling a malevolent spirit which is trying to take her children. The spirit we discover is connected to an old Mexican folklore which means Anna’s only hope lies with a former priest and now shaman Raymond (Rafael Olvera) who makes a living vanquishing spooks.

The film follows the established template of steadily escalating scares with many involving the creature popping up and emitting a hideous shriek. Most of the pop outs are pretty effective and director Michael Chaves finds some inventive ways for sinister spectre to scare bejeezus out of the family.

As a depiction of a threatened suburban family teaming up with a quirky spiritualist, the film often recalls Poltergeist although this film rarely approaches that film’s inventiveness and inspired reinvention of horror tropes.

As with most films in the Conjuring franchise it’s atmospherically shot with grim blue-grey tones but it never matches moodiness, intensity and sense of dread the Conjuring films despite quite a few effective moments.

These films are rarely acting showcases but Linda Cardellini brings a convincing mix of vulnerability and grit to the character of Anna, a single mother fighting to protect her family. Rafael Olvera also delivers a nice balance of serious spiritual warrior and over confident trickster as Raymond.

It’s a little predictable but Curse of The Weeping Woman goes part of the way to redeeming the franchise after The Nun.

Nick’s rating: ***

Genre: Horror.

Classification: M.

Director(s): Michael Chaves.

Release date: 18th April 2019.

Running time: 93 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. http://subcultureentertainment.com/2014/02/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-film-show

 

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