Amy’s April 2024 Viewing Roundup

April 16th, 2024

April may seem like an odd month to release a horror film but luckily for us fans that’s a genre that can be enjoyed year-round! And there’s a lot of interesting scares to be had in the theater right now including IMMACULATE (LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL is a must-see as well). It’s Catholic girls gone wild on steroids which is also a clever indictment of religious dogma that is a guise for controlling women.

THE LOST FLOWERS OF ALICE HART (Streaming on Amazon Prime): This is a compelling series that focuses on the intergenerational harm that is caused by violence against women both domestic and random. As such, it doesn’t make for easy entertainment viewing, but the female characters are so complex with fascinating backstories that it’s definitely worth the discomfort for anyone who appreciates a television series created for discerning adults. Sigourney Weaver portrays the mysterious matriarch who takes in her traumatized granddaughter who has endured years of witnessing and being subjected to domestic violence at the hands of an unhinged father. Women struggling to break the cycle of violence and make sense of their lives is at the heart of this series and it’s impossible not to be moved by the plight of the female characters. At the end of the series the matriarch observes “I found my voice again by listening to other women’s stories.” A sentiment I couldn’t agree with more.

IMMACULATE (Playing in theaters): Catholic nuns are having a Hollywood moment in horror films. The results have been mixed (THE NUN film franchise should be avoided like the Devil). But IMMACULATE does a good job of portraying the Hell that women are often subjected to by religious institutions that reduce women to mere vessels and handmaidens. Sister Cecilia is a devout Catholic sent to a convent in Italy where she will spend her days and nights engaging in nun activities like caring for old women with dementia. When she finds herself the subject of a supposed religious miracle, she suspends her disbelief and goes along with it which leads to some frightening discoveries. Sister Cecilia is a sympathetic character because she is naive and earnest and clearly the product of a sexist system where women are conditioned to believe that they exist merely to serve the needs of the patriarchy. Women ensnared in this institution can only achieve status through physical suffering and martyrdom. At a time when women in the United States are losing once protected legal rights to their bodily autonomy, this films message takes on a poignant relevancy. The third act is gratuitously violent, so the ending is experienced as both a merciful and blessed event.






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