Huesera puts a bone-crunching twist on the anxiety of motherhood.
In the horror flick, Valeria (Natalia Solián) has long dreamed about becoming a mother. After learning that she’s pregnant, she expects to feel happy, yet something’s off.
Huesera combines a few different types of horror into one unnerving tale. It’s a little bit supernatural, a little bit psychological, and a little bit body horror, drawn together with an almost folklore-like feel.
Combined with its deeply human characters, the story feels grounded and relatable throughout. When Valeria learns she’s pregnant, she does all the things you’d expect someone thrilled by that development to do. She shares the news with her partner and her family. She gets to work building a crib with beautiful woven accents. And she attends her medical appointments and tries to adjust her life as her doctor recommends to do what’s best for the baby.
But the more we see Valeria drawn into the world of motherhood, the more we begin to feel like she’s going through the motions. It seems like her life is a series of choices based on what’s “supposed” to make her happy – but is she happy? Really happy?
Huesera really leans into the “what ifs” we all experience in life. What if this specific event didn’t happen? What if you chose a different path? Would your life be more like what you wanted, what you envisioned? Or would it just be different?
As Valeria grapples with what has led her to this place in life, she’s also plagued by something equally sinister – some outside supernatural force that seems to have it out for her and her unborn child. As the entity stalks her, invades her home, gives her haunting dreams and visions, twists and contorts her very bones, Valeria desperately seeks out help from those around her. But time and again, her concerns are brushed aside as pregnancy hormones, anxiety, hysteria, self-sabotage. With few options left, Valeria realizes she’ll have to confront the evil head-on.
All in all, Huesera is a solid if not standout entry to the horror genre. There’s a few good surprises and jump scares thrown into the mix, but the middle of the film slows down enough to feel like it’s dragging a bit. Still, Solián plays Valeria with an incredible humanity, and you can’t help but relate to her as she struggles with both the supernatural and the existential in this story.
Huesera is playing in select theaters now and arrives on VOD February 16.