Lovely Molly REVIEW
"Please, just one more jar of Nutella!"
Release Date: 29 June 2012
18 | 100 minutes
Distributor: Metrodome Distribution
Director: Eduardo Sánchez
Cast: Gretchen Lodge, Alexandra Holden, Johnny Lewis
Blair Witch co-creator Eduardo Sánchez shows he doesn’t need a shakycam in order to pull together a shiver-inducing story with Lovely Molly, a genuinely disturbing tale of one woman’s battle with dark forces long forgotten. Well, he almost does. There’s still a bit of shakycam, but we’re willing to accept it as part of a weaning-off process.
Borrowing its premise from 2010’s The Silent House, Lovely Molly sees our titular lady and freshly-minted husband Tim moving back into Molly’s family home after their wedding, a place filled with creaking furniture, faded photographs and – it soon transpires – a lot of truly horrific childhood memories. But when the inevitable crashes crash, the bangs bang and damp fear starts to creep from the corners, Molly becomes engulfed by personal terrors she thought she’d laid to rest, convinced that what others see as her mental breakdown is in fact possession by a family evil she knows to be dead. So will capturing it on camera – or not, as the case may be – help lay the fear to rest?
More a straight horror than a psychological thriller, Lovely Molly is at its strongest when building its scares: Sánchez’s knack for constructing both gently simmering eeriness and full-on gore sequences mean that the audience stay gripped. Though it lacks the lightness of touch required to follow through with the central “mystery” (whether Molly’s demons are home-grown or from beyond), the film is actually all the more heart-thumping for it, with Sánchez throwing subtlety aside in favour of indulging in some truly inspired, grotesque setpieces.
The problem – as is often the case with a genre that requires such a stop-go pace – is consistency. Bound to the house that causes Molly’s black descent, the film tries to ensure audience interest by heaping scares one on top of another, resulting in its most impactful moments being undermined by smaller scares that serve to dilute their impact, and found-footage nonsense. The movie also struggles with multiple ending syndrome; with so much to juggle, it feels as though Sánchez couldn’t quite decide on which one conclusion would hit the hardest, so instead opted for about seven.
Pacing patchiness and conceit quibbles aside, Molly is a frightening woman alright. But lovely or not, she doesn’t need that damn camcorder.
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