Tuesday, 4 June 2013



Yet another movie in which people move into a new home and are immediately beset by supernatural forces with unfinished business. Just hitting the shelves is Apartment 1303, a remake of the Japanese film of the same name which tackles precisely the same subject matter, along with the modestly effective The Echo, and in the last few years there've been various other shockers in similar vein. Sinister and Insidious are the recent high water marks of the genre and to be honest none of the others have come anywhere close for pant-wetting scares.

Lovely Molly is like so many of them: it certainly tries, and it has the odd effective moment, but it can't manage much in the way of good honest look-away horror. Molly and her new husband Tim move into her late father's house in the woods: as a trucker he's away a lot and she's left on her own - but is she alone? Is the house haunted by the ghost of her abusive father, or is she just going quietly insane? Is it her memories, is it the drugs?

Things don't look promising right from the start when it becomes clear that much of the film is going to be shot through camcorders, and even the "regular" film sequences have that same tiresome found-footage look to them, with natural lighting, wobbly hand-held camerawork and an ambient, non-musical score. (Incidentally, can we have soundtracks composed by sensibly named human beings again rather than groups? The credit "Music by Tortoise" just looks silly.) And yet again the camcorder sequences cheat shamelessly, obviously having visual edits without jumps in the audio, leading you to wonder who's gone to all this trouble to edit this wedding video together when there weren't two cameras present.

This is directed by Eduardo Sanchez, who helped kick off the damnable found-footage thing in the first place with The Blair Witch Project. Presumably rooting the horror in a mundane, everyday, believable reality with gritty, flawed characters, is supposed to strike a chord of recognition with audiences in the way that outlandish fantasy horror involving vampires and werewolves and Castle Frankenstein can't, and the grimy, non-airbrushed mood is certainly more believable than opulent production design and bellowing symphony orchestras, even if the overt stylised fantasy is more to my personal taste. The bottom line is that - yet again - for a horror film it just isn't scary. It has a well-captured mood of glumness, and it has a nice believability to it, but that's all. Shame.


Lovely Jubbly:

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