What makes for a good horror movie is not just the story or the horror factor but also the representation. The Curse of La Patasola is a horror movie that has a purposeful plot but fails due to a lack of representation and primarily due to a lousy antagonist. It is a well-crafted effort, but the movie had the potential to be much more.
The narrative follows two struggling couples, Sarah-Daniel and Naomi-James, whose relationships, and moralities are tested by a spirit called La Patasola. In South American folklore, La Patasola is a ghost who hunts down men who think of women other than their beloved and possesses the “other woman.”
‘The Curse of La Patasola’ Plot Summary
From the very beginning of the movie, we see Naomi and Daniel having a row regarding their ideologies. Naomi is a hardcore feminist, and Daniel is, well, a pseudo-anti-feminist, if not entirely so. This is established while they are in a car on the way to camping in the forest. They are more like frenemies. There is this continuous disagreement that occurs between the two. Neither Naomi nor Daniel will remain quiet to avoid a row because it means their defeat. Naomi, feminist to the core, prefers to be blunt, just as Sarah tells her to be, and take a stand for herself and women in general. Daniel believes that men are “providers” and “protectors” for women, and that women rely on them.
Even during the scene where the two couples are around the campfire, the conversation between the four people is more of a give-and-take between Naomi and Daniel. Naomi tells the legend of La Patasola but hesitates to say her name. She tells her listeners that speaking the spirit’s name invites her presence, just like a moment of weakness can invite unfaithfulness in a relationship.
While she narrates the story, it is Daniel who interrupts her and tries to highlight her sexist nature, pointing out her feminism. Sarah and James have no say in the matter. All they can do is try and lower the heat. However, unbeknownst to them, this heat is what sparks a fire between Daniel and Naomi. It’s not love or anything close to that. They both possess a sense of authority, or rather that which possesses them, that Naomi and Daniel attribute to one another. They end up kissing each other, which, as expected, calls upon the wrath of La Patasola. This is precisely what Naomi meant when she spoke the lines mentioned above, word for word. The unfaithful kiss invited La Patasola’s presence.
What follows is what the legend said. With her hypnotic voice, La Patasola lures Daniel deep into the forest in the middle of the night. She possesses Naomi, too. At the end of the film, Daniel is killed by a possessed Naomi, and Sarah kills Naomi out of anger after La Patasola stages a romance between Daniel and Naomi in front of her. In this way, La Patasola takes her revenge on the unfaithful man and kills the woman just as her husband murdered her for cheating. The fact that La Patasola kills Naomi at the hands of Sarah serves as the judgment she received. She, too, was killed by her husband for her unfaithfulness. However, if this was the case, Naomi should have been killed by James, isn’t it? This is where the creators of ‘The Curse of La Patasola’ went wrong.
Is Forgiveness Freedom?
The deaths of Daniel and Naomi are followed by a chase scene with James and Sarah trying to escape from La Patasola, who has now taken up her monstrous form. It seems that hurting James was never her intention because he was clean. She was after Sarah because, apparently, she was in the same position as La Patasola’s husband, i.e., cheated on. And Patasola wanted Sarah to forgive Daniel, much like she wanted her husband to forgive her. This is why when Sarah puts on Daniel’s ring and forgives him, La Patasola calms down. She utters the name Mateo, which is probably her husband’s name. She hopes her husband has forgiven her as she stares at James and Sarah, both of whom have forgiven their partners, as they are picked up by the local ranger and leave the forest in his vehicle.
From the looks of it, La Patasola is free from her chains. But her mere presence at the end of the film speaks otherwise. If she were freed, she wouldn’t be around at all. The movie, thus, leaves us with an open ending.
The Curse of La Patasola is a 2022 Drama Horror Film directed by AJ Jones.