From the title it may seem that we are facing a horror series, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because The Curse (The curse in Spanish) is an acid parody of reality shows, influencers and similar creatures born in this society of appearances and forced pretentiousness. It also has the added bonus that it stars Emma Stonewhich these days triumphs on the big screen with the premiere of Poor Creatures and why is up for this year’s Oscars. The first part of this, I suppose it will be, the only season we had in January in skyshowtime and this week the rest of the episodes will arrive that will offer us the end of the story.
In The Curse, Stone plays the host of a reality show embarked with her husband (Nathan Fielder) in a program to rehabilitate abandoned houses and buildings in a town of New Mexico called The Spanish and that transform into ecological homes with the message of renewing and improving the community in which they invest. Everything aimed at selling those dream houses to poor people, with those stores next to posture to upload the photo of the coffee to Instagram. Although from the first moment we suspect that the intentions of the noble couple hosting the program are not as noble, nor as philanthropic as they try to pretend.
Felder is one of the showrunners of this series, a peculiar television creator who has always liked to experiment and Play with the concepts of reality and fiction. So we find a format closer to that of the mockumentary or any reality show. We are in a series that is simmering and in which we are not going to have unexpected script twists. The music and soundtrack is reduced to a minimum, to give that feeling that we are facing a real story.
All the buildings that the protagonists sell have a facade made of mirrors. In each episode, the scene before the credits ends with the image deforming as if we were in front of one of those fairground mirrors. The presence of a television camera has the same distorting effect of these mirrors and none of the protagonists behaves in the same way when they know they are being recorded. Reality does not matter, but what the camera shows.
The main couple wants a reality show aimed at recording how good people they are and how well they are doing everything. Of course, having a camera every day collecting everything ends up taking out precisely what you want to hide. Especially since the third leg of the series is a television producer (Benny Safdie) unscrupulous of those who apply the motto of Don’t let reality bother you with a good headline and assemble things in any way to have an easy click. On several occasions we see how the protagonists face the cameras when they see that they may be capturing an intimate moment or doing things that no one should see. Although they swear and swear that the cameras and microphones were off, we all know that is not the case.
Already in the first chapter, the husband shows his worst face when he becomes violent in front of a journalist who starts asking his wife uncomfortable things. Later he will try to buy her to destroy that tape. But to add insult to injury, he films himself giving a bill that is too high to a girl she is begging for on the street. Then he tries to get it back when he tries to get the change. That is the moment when the girl unleashes the curse that gives the series its title. The protagonists do not know if he has really given them the evil eye.
As the plot progresses we will soon get to know Emma Stone’s character and how she is driven to appear to do the right thing whenever she is recorded. Her smile could freeze you. One of the most revealing scenes is when she experiences one of those couple moments typical of any sugar-saturated romantic movie. She thinks it is so cool that she intends to repeat the situation but record it all with her cell phone. The difference between one moment and another is the artificiality. Thus we swing between absurdity and the shame of others.
The Curse is not a dish for everyone. It’s strange, it’s strange. But if you enter the game it will end up trapping you.