It should be the happiest time in Valeria’s life. She and her husband, Raul, have finally seen one of their longtime dreams come true: Valeria is pregnant. At first, everything seems perfect. Gradually, though, her mood darkens. With motherhood upon her, Valeria can't shake off heavy self-doubt and a pervasive dread, the latter stemming from visions of spider-like presences and other possibly supernatural threats, all of which may be the work of an entity known as “La Huesera.” Hoping to confront these demons, she reconnects with the old, more carefree life she once gave up for Raul, including rekindling an old flame with her first love, Octavia.
The fears and anxieties that come from being a first-time mother power this poignant and creepy feature debut from Mexican filmmaker Michelle Garza Cervera, whose bold and inventive short films have made waves in the genre festival circuit for nearly a decade. Tapping into themes similar to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s recent critical darling The Lost Daughter, Huesera provides a raw and intimate look at a complex character making difficult choices, the stakes of which are intensely heightened by Garza Cervera’s proficient ability to craft unsettling imagery and nerve-rattling set-pieces that’ll make your skin crawl. —Matt Barone