Thank you netflix for putting indie horror films out there at easy access for the masses. I had heard a little buzz about this movie, so I was excited to get a chance to watch it. When it was over, I pondered it all for a minute and then decided I liked it. Just like, not love. Upon doing a little research I realized it was director/writer Rodrigo Gudino’s first full-length film! This made me appreciate and LIKE it even more. Now, Gudino is no lazy horror filmmaker. He is actually the president and founding editor of the iconic horror magazine, Rue Morgue. The fact that this guy really seems to know and understand our little horror community made me feel like I was in good hands. Kinda like, “I’m not only the president-I’m also a member!”
The movie is a nice slow burn with plenty of atmosphere. No shaky camera found footage (which I often like, but I know many don’t), and a nice haunted feel. Which makes sense as it’s a ghost story….or is it? The story centers around Leon, an antiques dealer. He has this bad-ass style going on, I dug it enough. Leon estranged himself from his mother and now must go back to his childhood home where she still lived and settle her affairs. His mother (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave, no less!) actually narrates the opening and provides a little back story about their drifting apart and how Leon never fully dealt with his father’s suicide. Leon also seems to have some other issues involving a failed marriage/relationship. As Leon journeys through the house he starts to feel his mother’s ghost is still around and trying to communicate…especially by messing with angel statues. That would freak me out.
The Leigh house is sort of my dream home. It’s packed with religious icons, those angel statues, dolls, antiques, artifacts, creepy cross-stitch hangings….I mean, where do I sign?? I also really liked how we never “see” any other characters in person besides Leon. It just gave me this sense of loneliness. Everything is just subtle and I found myself trying to figure out what was going on, what would be happening next, etc. It had a nice original touch. And for a first full length film, I enjoyed it. I want to give this one a grade, but I have one **SPOILER** I am dying to talk about cause it was my FAVORITE part of the film. So, let me wrap this up.
Grade: B <– Above average!! 🙂 Looking forward to more from Gudino!
My favorite part of the movie? Um, the freakin cult of Angel worship!!!! I haven’t gotten to review many cult movies here, but I am totally fascinated by cults. So when Leon finds that crazy home VHS tape depicting all the old people at a church ceremony with the significantly younger preacher ranting and raving to his congregation?! I was seriously digging that. AND then we see the church is actually IN the damn house???!! Pretty rad. I also like the weirdo twin dudes. Very effective. I wouldn’t say the movie ties together in a perfect package at the end. But I did like the “twist” ending and the general subtle nature of the movie.