I checked out three horror flicks on Hulu dealing with women in peril, and although I expected nothing from any of them, one was a satisfying surprise.
THE ACCURSED (2021)
This bewitched family film ends up feeling like it would have the most impact on the tween market except for one factor…it’s kind of boring despite the cheap, weak scares.
Two sisters are cursed by another woman at the beginning of the film, so they kill her and get rid of the body using a ritual that’s supposed to bury the body and the curse.
22 years later, the son of one of the sisters is getting married, and the curse claws its way back from the dead to destroy the family.
Ugh. Other than a bunch of attack vines in the garden, a lot of talking, and family members glaring at each other suspiciously, not much happens here.
There are some cutaway kills that make this feel like a pre-slasher horror flick from the early 1970s, and when there are about fifteen minutes left, the buried bitch from the beginning finally returns from the dead to offer some tame terror. There’s even a hokey final frame scare.
It’s not the worst witchcraft movie, but it probably would have been better if it were a movie in like 1972…
This Finnish film is an odd little blend of a variety of subgenres, so it very often feels like you’ve seen it all before…yet, you’ve simultaneously seen nothing like it. The basic premise is familiar, but the presentation is kind of out there and rather brilliant.
A tween girl is being pressured to be a successful gymnast by her mother, a vlogger who has created this illusion that she has the perfect family.
The girl finds an egg out in the woods, brings it home, and secretly nurtures it in her bedroom. It begins to grow…very big. And then it hatches. Let me just say that there are a lot of metaphors about becoming a woman, having control of your own body, being a mother, and being a controlling mother in this film. The good news is that all the messaging doesn’t get in the way of the fact that this is a horror movie. See? You can elevate horror without letting the doors close before the horror can get on board.
Anyway, out of the egg pops a surprisingly large, nasty looking bird that needs to learn to fly. And our young girl is going to help push it out of its nest. This is where we get the good old concept of a child whose secret monster friend begins to kill off anyone it feels is a threat to the child. Wahoo!
And yet there is so much smart exploration of the life trajectory of being a female weaved throughout fast-paced chills and thrills.
And then the film morphs…just like the bird. Would you believe it turns into a body horror flick? And it’s pretty damn fun and freaky…without leaving the elevation down in the lobby.
ROOM 203 (2022)
This movie was a dud.
It’s about two female friends that move into a creepy apartment together, and one feels very protective of the other because she already helped her get over a drug problem.
There’s loads of walking around in the dark and stinger sounds to make the movie “scary”, because all you get otherwise is an intriguing stained glass window and a dark hole in the wall with a mysterious necklace in it.
The former druggy starts acting weird and sleepwalking, the other girl begins investigating the history of the apartment, this starts to feel like The Toolbox Murders remake for a while, and then it starts to feel like just another possession film for a while, only without any suspense or scares.