Origin/Director: Australia, USA/Natalie Erika James
Viewings Tally: This is my first viewing! I figured I should add a recent horror release to my list, and this one received above average reviews last summer.
Synopsis: When Edna – the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family – goes missing, her daughter and granddaughter travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna. [Letterboxd]
Reely Bernie’s Take: This is what true horror is all about – ominous, brooding, and reliant on the viewer’s imagination more than surface-level shock “value.” This is the movie that searches for what literally and metaphorically lurks in the closet in a room and the room within that closet. From point A to Z, the entire movie makes sense upon completion, but the journey is heart-pounding and even frustrating, and only until the denouement do you realize the aggravation is exactly the point. I don’t want to give anything away, but each symbol, action, and crawl through a hole in a wall fulfills a metaphor on grief and the relief that comes with accepting that grief.
Chicago Sun Times “film critic,” Richard Roeper, called it the “feel dread of the year,” and he couldn’t be any more wrong and sensationalist in his statement. I felt the tension lift at the end, I understood what talented Director Natalie Erika James was trying to convey, and, believe it or not, I enjoyed the bittersweet concept of “letting go” and even smiled during the credits.
Although this family could use a few therapy sessions and get in touch with their affectionate side, they are dealing with a disease and a universal experience all families encounter at a certain point.
And, it’s at this point that we all have to go back to that old, decrepit home we grew up in, walk up the stairs, and open that back closet door we knew to fear as children. It’s just as scary as adults…
The Shot that Won’t Let Go:
Final Score: 4 hidden metaphors behind the wall out of 5
Anyone else see this? It’s currently on Apple TV. Big recommendation!