Hurricane Season (2023) Review – Delivers on gore and violence but overstays its welcome

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: November 1, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
Hurricane Season Review
Paloma Alvarado as Yesenia in Hurricane Season. | Image via Netflix ©2023


A sinister atmosphere and brutal violence aren’t enough to make this engaging supernatural thriller worth watching.

The Netflix film Hurricane Season (2023) is based on the book of the same name by Fernanda Melchor. Book adaptations are always difficult because there is so much that can be added to the film, and it’s up to the writer to determine what is necessary. What’s important for a director is to capture the essence of the novel, even if only some of the story beats are present in the film.

Palme d’Or-winning director Elisa Miller created a somewhat thrilling atmosphere with a group of teenagers who find some unsettling things in their small town. It feels like a contained story, and the sinister nature of the events causes the teens to feel grim about living there.

Just because October is over doesn’t mean that you stop watching supernatural films. These films pique the interest of audiences because they want to believe that there is something greater in the universe that can hold special powers. Things that are difficult to explain and can change the course of one’s life need to be caused by something greater.

Hurricane Season (2023) review and plot summary

In the fictional village La Matosa, some people are living in poverty. In Melchor’s novel, there is a witch who is found dead in a canal at the beginning. This sets the tone for the rest of the film as multiple characters are trying to find out who killed the witch. It’s straightforward as the characters uncover more and more about the horrors of their small town.

What director Elisa Miller does well is have these young teens struggle to find the humanity in the town they’ve lived in for a very long time. It’s interesting to see how Miller displays the brutal violence of this story and visually captivates her audience.

When it comes to a small town there is bound to be gossip and everyone knows everything that happens. When the witch is dead, rumors are swirling around about who could have possibly killed her. They question who would murder her and why. How does one even kill a witch? She lived in a secluded area away from everyone. She would also ask for sexual favors from young men, which is what started the disgust of the townspeople. Even though she kept to herself the word carried. Because she is a witch no one believed that she was gone. Miller shows that weird things are happening in the town like random fires everywhere.

RELATED: Is Hurricane Season based on a true story?

The witch was an outcast, but what people didn’t know is that she did create a safe space for other outcasts in the town. People are always afraid of what they don’t understand and that is exactly what Miller wanted to capture here. The characters who are trying to find out what is happening in the town have all been struggling with their identity and gender norms within their community.

What doesn’t work

The main issue with Hurricane Season is that the novel is only 224 pages long, which could technically be considered a novella. It’s hard for anyone to stretch that short of a story into a feature film. The themes are presented well in the film about how violence can come in all forms and be right under our noses, but it wasn’t enough.

The film does drag in the middle because there is only so much source material to dive into. The characters aren’t that well-rounded and feel one-note. On top of that, it’s a situational horror, so there’s no change because these characters are stuck in the town.

If it wasn’t for the shock value of the gore, violence, and brutality then this would have been even tougher to sit through. There are many characters in the mix which gives multiple angles as to how they react to the witch. You do have to be in the right mindset to watch this film because of the horrible things that happen to its characters.

What did you think of Netflix’s Hurricane Season (2023)? Comment below.

RELATED: Hurricane Season (2023) Ending Explained

Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Service