I may be reaching a point that probably says something about how I have watched too many genre films. I went into The Womb expecting one type of film from the capsule description another copy of Rosemarys Baby (1968) about a woman being forced to bear the Devils child. In this respect, I ended up being disappointed (perhaps surprised) by the lack of any Satanic conspiracies anywhere in the film and the fact that what we have is a purely mundane thriller.
None of which should be laid as a complaint against The Womb. It works well as an imprisonment thriller in the vein of works such as The Fanatic/Die, Die, My Darling (1965), Misery (1990), Boxing Helena (1993) and Paranoid (2000). Daniel Rodriguez Risco has clearly studied the genre and appropriates various set-ups and tropes the heroines various attempts to get free and the due crushing of her hopes, her eventual escape only for her appeal to the authorities to fall on deaf ears and she be returned to her captor, the unexpected visitor and so on. Risco never particularly reinvents the wheel but generates sufficient tension and a number of surprises with his set-pieces. It is also a beautifully lit film with much of it having been shot for the way that light plays out on characters faces or in the rooms. Perhaps the only complaint here might be that the film is given a score that feels like it is composed of cliche samples from classic thriller movies.
It would be hard to find an actress who seems the embodiment of sweetly fresh-faced and youthful innocence than Mayella Lloca. Up against her is the formidable Vanessa Saba who does the fiercely controlling matriarch with undeniably chill regard she has a particularly unnerving speech where she insinuates that she could keep Mayella Lloca prisoner there as a Cat in a Jar ie. with limbs removed and two holes through which to eat and excrete.
(Screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival)
Trailer here (no English subs):-