“The Accursed” is yet another clichéd attempt to showcase a person using the dark forces, or the Devil, for personal revenge. Frankly speaking, nothing happens in the first half, and then we are bombarded with a lot in the second half. However, the absence of a strong motive, or rather the inability to portray the motive, is what makes the film’s ending, even with its grotesque visuals and urgency, ineffective. And not even Satan can save it.
What Happens In ‘The Accursed’ Film?
Mary Lynn Crandon visits a witch with a wish to have a woman possessed by the Devil and trap them (the woman and the Devil) both in Hell forever. The witch gives her a knife with which she will have to carve a cross on her throat when she sees three fingers of the dark entity coming out of the woman’s mouth. This will trap them both. The witch then casts the spell, using the blood of the woman Mary gave her. But she begins to feel uneasy immediately and realizes that the blood is her own. Mary Lynn takes the knife and carves a cross on the witch’s throat as revenge for her husband, Thomas’s death. Mary then escapes with her daughter Sadie before the dark entity that’s about to come out of the witch’s mouth can harm either of them. The witch thus dies with the dark entity inside her, both supposedly in Hell forever.
After experiencing supernatural occurrences concerning her dead mother, Helen Gamble, Eleanor “Elly” Gambel decides to take up a nursing job at the Ambrose estate for a few days. Alma Whitelorn, the woman in charge of the place, introduces Elly to Ms. Ambrose, whom she will have to look after. Ms. Ambrose also has a daughter, Dorothy Ambrose, but she isn’t around.
As soon as she begins to stay at the estate, strange incidents begin to occur. Eleanor hears her dead mother’s voice and the song her mother used to listen to. She eventually begins to see her mother, who blames Eleanor for her death in isolation. Meanwhile, Eleanor’s friend Beth digs into the Ambrose estate and finds out that there is no record of Alma Whitelorn anywhere. She is also told that the Ambrose estate is “all kinds of wrong” and that she needs to bring Eleanor out of the Ambrose estate.
Back at the estate, Eleanor meets Mary Lynn and Sadie. Mary informs Eleanor all about Ms. Ambrose, and that Alma Whitelorn is, in fact, Dorothy, who wants to save her mother from the Devil that is inside her. Ms. Ambrose is the witch we have already spoken about. The only way the dark entity will let Ms. Ambrose go is if it finds a “nice young body” to slip into. Mary Lynn’s husband, Thomas, once gave into Dorothy’s temptation but broke off with her later. This made Dorothy complain about him to her mother, who then put a hex on Thomas and his unborn children. This is the reason Sadie doesn’t have a tongue and also has a dark entity lying dormant inside her. Mary Lynn tells Eleanor that they will burn down the estate.
Supernatural occurrences keep on increasing, almost to the point where Eleanor is about to lose her sense of what’s real and what’s not. Will Beth be able to save her friend from the impending doom? Will Eleanor be able to save herself from the Devil that haunts her? Or will she become “the accursed”?
What Doesn’t Make Sense?
At the beginning of the film, Mary Lynn traps the dark entity inside Ms. Ambrose, seemingly forever. Or at least that is what was supposed to happen according to the spell that was cast. However, in the second half of the film, contrarily, Mary tells Eleanor that the only way to save Ms. Dorothy is for the dark entity to have another young body. If the entity is trapped in Hell, how will it be possible for it to look for another body? Or does it have the choice to choose its own prison (with the only catch being the person, probably a woman, who should be dead)? Moreover, for a member of the Devil’s legion to be “trapped” in Hell sounds ironic, doesn’t it? They are supposed to belong there. And if we are to consider that they want to cross over to Earth, we have to believe that they just want to cause chaos and put up against God, which is always the case, especially in movies of late.
What Does Eleanor’s Mother Have To Do With Ms. Ambrose?
Well, Eleanor’s father left her mother, Helen, when Eleanor was young. Helen came to Ms. Ambrose to put a curse on Eleanor’s father. But having no money, she paid with Eleanor’s blood. At the end of the film, Dorothy reveals that Helen hanged herself for offering Eleanor up. This is why when Elma goes near a tree after she hears the voice of her mother, she, as well as we, hear a familiar creaking sound. It is as if something or someone is hanging from one of the branches (very similar to the one we saw in The Conjuring). It is her mother Helen’s body. Moreover, it was Helen who made the first call for Eleanor to the Ambrose estate. All this was just so that she could extract her revenge on her daughter for leaving her and make her go through Hell (literally).
“The Accursed” offers an unusual take on the mother-daughter relationship. In most horror films, the mother is the one to sacrifice for her child or save her child. Here, the mother is responsible for the child’s troubles. We also need to understand that, in the beginning, it seems that Helen and Ms. Ambrose are subjected to two separate dark entities. Helen’s soul now belongs to the Devil, whereas Ms. Ambrose is dead, and there is a dark entity living inside her. So, here we have a classic example of how evil breeds evil. But, at the end of the film, when we see the dark entity from Ms. Ambrose’s body call out to Eleanor for help, taking on the shape of her mother, Helen, it becomes clear that the source of evil, no matter where or in what form, is the same.
While the apple in the film doesn’t really make a mark, we can say that it was used intentionally. Biblically speaking, the Devil enticed Eve into the temptation of taking a bite of the apple, AKA the forbidden fruit, in the Garden of Eden. Adam, too, took a bite, and then both were expelled from Heaven. In the film, too, we have apples that seem to symbolize the presence of evil. Dorothy even mentions to Eleanor how she offered her an apple when Helen brought her as a child. This action also, in a way, shows Dorothy (who is evil) trying to entice Eleanor. When Eleanor and Beth first walk inside the Ambrose estate, they are offered apples from which Beth even takes one, thereby taking the forbidden step. Her death at the hands of Dorothy can thus be said to be the result of taking the forbidden step. We also see Sadie, Mary Lynn’s daughter, throwing apples at the windows to apparently make her come out of the house. And Eleanor does come out. Although Sadie does mean to help Eleanor, we must not forget that she, too, has a dark entity inside her, as per Mary Lynn. So was Sadie trying to coerce Eleanor into something too? We never know, but her note, attached to a rotten apple, might signify that the deed is done, i.e., the Devil has come out of its den. And the only way to purge it is to burn down the whole house.
‘The Accursed’ Ending Explained – Does Eleanor Survive The Ambrose Estate?
Dorothy tries to kill Eleanor so that the dark entity inside Ms. Ambrose can shift to Eleanor’s body. This way, Dorothy will get her mother back. Unfortunately, the dark entity tears its way out of Ms. Ambrose, mutilating her whole body in the process to the point of no return. And with Mary Lynn carving a cross into the entity, she, along with Sadie and Eleanor, manages to run out of the burning Ambrose estate. Since the entity desperately needs a host, it gets inside Dorothy, who is lying unconscious. “The Accursed” remains open-ended, showing that Dorothy has somehow survived the fire and is admitted to the same hospital where Eleanor works as a nurse. That Dorothy starts to sing the song that Eleanor’s mother used to sing proves that Helen’s soul, AKA the dark entity, now resides inside Dorothy.
Many times, horror films tend to leave their endings open like this. It doesn’t always point at the possibility of a sequel but rather lets the audience imagine the ending on their own. This choice is opted for by the creators, probably to avoid being criticized for an ending that turns out to be unworthy according to the audience. After all, not all horror films have a worthy ending, and even if they do, it is pretty much the same, i.e., evil is defeated, killed, or trapped. It is up to the creators to create an ending that the audience has on their minds even after the film ends. “The Accursed” does manage to do this, but not to the extent that it should. And the only reason for this is the absence of a horror that is more pronounced to the mind than the eyes.
“The Accursed” is a 2022 horror film directed by Kevin Lewis.