The Cursed (formally titled Eight for Silver) is a morality tale of sorts. Writer/director Sean Ellis (Metro Manila) tells a disturbing story about how shameful decisions made by an older generation can haunt the next of kin.
We witness a violent confrontation about land between an upper class family and a band of Roma nomads. High on their pedestal, the former class decides to make an example of the travellers by branding their land with one of their rotting corpses as a warning for “their kind”. The mystical presence of these travellers remains in the atmosphere and targets the children of the antagonistic aristocrats – a hysterically frightening interpretation of “you reap what you sow”. As deaths and disappearances stack up, an out-of-town pathologist is called on to explore the case.
The Cursed is a brilliant and absolutely brutal horror-thriller that packs a solid punch with its storytelling and in-your-face gory effects. Striking an uncanny balance between Robert Eggers’ unsettling indie The Witch and The Hughes Brothers’ gothic period piece From Hell, The Cursed leans into supernatural and investigative elements to spin an intriguing and mysterious folktale that incorporates creature origins and body horror.
The premise also benefits from well-acted performances that fit together like puzzle pieces, creepy cinematography that adds foreboding nuances, and thoughtful repetition that creates a common sense of scary dread for the kids who share the same inflicted trauma.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie