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Relic #MovieReview

When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam 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.

Release Date: 10 July 2020 | Runtime: 1hr 29 min | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Source: Streaming | Unstarred Review |

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Relic Review

Sigh. Is there anything more disappointing than finally getting around to a much-hyped movie, only to find it overwhelmingly alright?

Relic starts with an extremely promising premise: after her mother, Edna, goes missing, Kay and her daughter Sam must return to the familial home to assist in the search for the missing matriarch. After a tense couple of days, Edna returns, unable to answer questions about where she had been and sporting a wicked bruise on her chest.

There’s no doubt that this movie is beautifully shot. Each shot flows perfectly into the next in a way that, as the movie unfurls, becomes more and more disorienting to the viewer. I also wouldn’t take a single thing away from the actors here, they’re all phenomenal – especially Robin Nevin as Edna. But great acting and creepy cinematography will only take you so far when the plot becomes increasingly on the nose as the movie wears on.

To me, Relic felts a lot like Hereditary Lite. It deals in similar themes, but in a much quieter, less nuanced way. The horror is subtle, which isn’t necessarily an issue for me, but in this case, it was subtle enough to be nearly nonexistent for the first 2/3 of the film. It’s clear early on what our supernatural element is meant to be a stand-in for, and while there are some interesting things done with the concept, it ultimately felt bogged down and a bit like I was being beaten over the head with it to make sure I “got” it. Towards the last third of the film, we take a sharp turn into body horror territory which, again, is wonderfully executed from a visual standpoint, but felt like a strange departure so late into what had been, until now, a quietly psychological horror film.

I went into Relic with high expectations. With a multigenerational storyline focused on a fantastic cast of women, it sounded like it would be right up my alley. And, in theory, it was. But the execution let me down. Certainly not a terrible film, but not one I see myself revisiting or recommending.

Published inMovie ReviewsUnstarred Reviews

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