In that spirit, I also have my own interpretation. Spoiler warning starts… now.
I think the supernatural element can be seen as psychological manipulation. The gypsy’s real power was putting on a show that would encourage Christine to develop a self fulfilling prophecy driven by the guilt.
When we meet Christine we see she is a hard worker. She has risen to her place at the bank virtuously, through honest work and determination. On the other hand, you have the slimy and manipulative Stu who relies less on his own ability and more on sabotage to rise through the ranks. This contrast is why we like Christine and cannot stand Stu. It’s also why so much is on the line in their rivalry: if Stu gets the promotion, throwing someone under the bus triumphs over Christine’s honesty.
But Christine betrays herself, and us, shortly thereafter. When the gypsy asks for an extension, Christine is given the chance to save her. And why wouldn’t she? Christine has shown herself to to be the compassionate one, the one who does the right thing. Stu is the villain who would be foreclosing on old ladies for personal gain. But Christine does it, she takes the gypsy’s home, all for the sake of a promotion.
She tries to justify it. In fact, she spends the whole movie hiding the truth or making excuses. But she, as well as us in the audience, don’t buy it. We all know it was wrong. More importantly, the gypsy knows that’s how Christine feel. And the gypsy preys on that.
From that angle the whole curse can be seen as nothing more than an elaborate show put on by the gypsy. A show whose purpose it was to genuinely convince Christine she had some hex. The fuel that makes this work is Christine’s guilt because she already feels she deserves to be punished. After the song & dance the gypsy can go away and leave Christine’s imagination to fill in the gaps.
One of the ways she does this is by visiting a fortune teller. Now, whether the fortune teller really believes what he was saying or he was just a charlatan making a few bucks, the important thing is that Christine believes what he said. He describes a curse and she thinks “that’s exactly what I have.” Her disease is not supernatural, it’s psychosomatic! Christine going to the fortune teller is the equivalent of a neurotic person going on WedMD, reading the symptoms of a disease and convincing himself he has it.
Of course, this is far, far more tragic. It leads to Christine hitting herself, killing her cat, freaking out at dinner and, finally, committing suicide.
An interesting scene to revisit with that in mind is the seance to purge the evil spirit. Again, whether the fortune tellers believed it was supernatural or understood it was psychological doesn’t change things. What they attempted to do was take a physical scapegoat (literally in this case) into which Christine could focus all her neurosis and “kill it.” It fails because Christine’s guilt is too strong and she sees it everywhere, in everyone’s faces. We have all experienced this before. You’ve done something wrong and even though it should be a secret you can’t help but think “everyone’s looking at me, they all know!!!’
The themes of guilt and its manifestation are also supported by the Spanish fortune teller. In the beginning she loses a young boy, driven crazy by a gypsy story, who throws himself to his death. She swears she will never let that happen again. Christine is her chance at redemption . When she fails, she dies.
Man, this is a really fantastic movie open to some fun interpretations. Please share your thoughts on it below, I would love to hear them.