Review: Lovely Molly
|REVIEWS - MOVIES|
It's back to basics for Eduardo Sanchez, of The Blair Witch Project fame...
After 2008's disastrous Seventh Moon, the Director of The Blair Witch Project bravely returns to the horror genre with a tried and tested formula. Teaming up with his Altered and Seventh Moon writing partner, Jamie Nash, he attempts to emulate the success of his first feature in reusing the found footage technique to crank up the tension...
“Whatever happened, it wasn’t me…. I’m not in control any more…”
...sobs a young girl holding a knife to her neck. In stark contrast to this arresting opening, the action shifts to the joyous atmosphere of the titular character’s wedding day. From home video footage to the taut shaky-cam start, Sánchez momentarily moves away from amateur film, allowing us to see the first days of Tim and Molly’s married life. Sinister music gradually becomes louder to signify a change in mood and a close-up of a dust sheet covering a green arm chair bizarrely leads into the title sequence.
Molly has returned to her old family home – a large country house concealing dark secrets, only ever hinted at. On one of their first nights in the house, an alarm sensor goes off in the middle of the night. Deciding to check it out, Molly and Tim hear noises and the policeman discovers the back door open. Although dismissed as a common police call-out and merely the fault of human error, Molly and Tim are both left disturbed. When Tim has to work on Molly’s Birthday and is away for several days, he returns to find her naked and in shock in the spare room, muttering “He’s alive”, having blacked-out after smoking a small amount of marijuana.
Although there are some pointless extended close-ups and far too much humming, Sánchez creates a genuinely eerie mood, keeping viewers guessing and on edge. An initial torch-lit search of Molly's family home is particularly tense. Evil whispers originating in a storage room full of Molly’s old family possessions suggest a troubled past. Doors rattle, unseen little girls sob, familiar voices call Molly’s name and someone sings “Lovely Molly” – all the while an already spooked and imbalanced Molly is left to cope alone, unable to even escape the torment at work.
Sánchez hints towards mental illness but never makes anything explicit, making it hard at times to see the link between Molly’s story and Peeping Tom video footage of a neighbouring family. He falls back on horror genre clichés by filming in dark woodlands and using the dropped camera effect to reveal very little in order to play on background sounds. Two separate stories interspersed are seemingly unrelated and unfortunately feel this way right until Sánchez’s frustratingly lazy ending. Although Lovely Molly has its faults, it is certainly a vast improvement on Seventh Moon and makes for uncomfortable viewing, both disturbing and compelling.
Director: Eduardo Sánchez
Writer: Eduardo Sánchez, Jamie Nash
Release Date: June 22 2012
Running Time: 100 mins
Starring: Alexandra Holden, Johnny Lewis, Gretchen Lodge
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