Willow Song (Valerie Tian) hasn’t had the greatest life and addiction has led her down a dangerous path. Living in poverty, she has to do what she can and she’s helped along by her best friend, Flea (Ingrid Nilson). However, their relationship is becoming increasingly toxic. Willow also has to do what she can to make ends meet and that means making deals with shady men like Wolf (Adam Lolacher) in order to get money.
Then one day it feels like her life comes crashing down around her. She loses her job and her home and soon ends up turning to her life long friend, Dani (Elfina Luk) for advice. Giving her a place to stay, Dani treats her like family, but eventually Willow’s past is going to catch up with her.
The Curse of Willow Song is a supernatural drama written and directed by Karen Lam. Shot in black and white, the movie is given an almost arthouse feel, but the realistic portrayal of a recovering addict is what grounds it.
As Willow goes from place to place, person to person in order to straighten her life out, it feels like nothing is going her way. Nobody believes her when she says she’s still clean and a particularly unsettling job interview puts her into a tight situation.
However, as everything comes to a climax, this is where the supernatural horror elements kick in. Something which some audience members may find unnecessary whilst others will enjoy the surprise.
Thankfully, the meld of the special effects and the artistic cinematography seem to work well. The trouble is that the themes of the everyday and the other worldly seem out of place. There could have been something deeper in Willow’s addiction mirrored with her powers, but they only seem to be there for an exciting finale.
This unfortunately makes The Curse of Willow Song feel like a story which is on a surface level. Whilst not trying to evoke something such as Stephen King’s Carrie, it unfortunately may leave the audience feeling cold as they may not know what it all means.
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