Don’t know about the rest of the superstitious world but (some) Goans disciplined naughty children with stories of a bogey man who would abduct them unless they behaved themselves. A Mexican legend of the malevolent ghost of a weeping woman underpins this creepy debut from Michael Chaves.

It must be noted: in far too many films, (vampire-centred excepted) demonic entities are shown to be dismissive of Christian prayer and symbols. The film under review omits a stand-alone and authentic Catholic exorcism while positing those shamanic rituals can be effective.

The theologically faulty plot even has a padre who tells beleaguered non-believing widowed social worker Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) to approach ex-priest turned shaman Rafael Overa (Raymond Cruz) for assistance since Holy Mother Church would take far too long! Appalling advice, that too from a priest!

Other secondary albeit pivotal characters like distraught mother Patricia Alvarez is poorly etched. Thank goodness for small mercies, the character played by Cruz brings comic relief to this dolorous tale of supernatural slayings.

Catholics, firm in the faith will be sceptical and disapproving of the former priest Rafael’s methods to combat the evil spirit who targets the children of single women. The Curse of the Weeping Woman is devoid of authentic Catholic theology despite the Catholic setting. To its credit, the jump scares, the terrifying apparition and spooky atmospherics will give fans of the horror genre their money’s worth.

Cast: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez, Jaynee Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou, Marisol Ramirez

Director: Michael Chaves

Rating: * * *