Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Natalie Erika James
Producers: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw
Writers: Natalie Erika James, Christian White
Date Released: July 3, 2020
Emily Mortimer as Kay
Robyn Nevin as Edna
Bella Heathcote as Sam
Chris Bunton as Jamie
Jeremy Stanford as Alex
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a grandmother who was reported missing for days. Her daughter and granddaughter came to the house to check up on her. The grandmother comes back like nothing happened. But strange things started happening. Nightmares, behavioral changes, and weird noises began haunting them. As they dig deeper into the reason why this is happening, they are faced with horrors of the house and the grandmother’s journey to dementia.
There are only a few scary scenes in this movie but they are downright disturbing. One creepy moment was when the grandmother who was sleepwalking towards the door suddenly appeared facing backwards with her hair all over her face. Not to mention, her facial expressions are always scary. The daughter’s dream sequences were also creepy with the appearance of a skinny figure, most likely the silhouette that appears all throughout the film. The most notable gory scenes were right towards the end. One is where the grandmother was deteriorating and there were holes on her chest and face. Another is the chasing sequence inside the walls where the grandmother crawls while her bones break. And finally, the ending where the daughter peels off the skin and hair of the grandmother to reveal a seemingly rotting corpse is both dramatic and morbid at the same time.
The Grave Review
This movie is full of symbolism and metaphors. It will be understandable if viewers are able to recognize the hidden meanings especially with shots of the so-called “relics” of the house that are just normally clutter. Some might find this rather boring especially at the start where it’s a bit dragging. Mainly, the story is about a family’s generational journey towards the elder’s dementia and coping with the process.
The first part of the movie took too long to establish their relationship with each other. They wanted to associate the loss of memory and drifting apart with horror and dread. The tension builds towards the first hour when the daughter and the granddaughter experience the strange shifting of the grandmother’s behavior. It becomes edge-of-the-seat suspense when the granddaughter gets lost in the walls.
Though the story only centered on the three of them, they were able to establish familial connection and disconnection through their acting. Each of them has their own story to tell and the best part was when it all comes full circle when they lay together towards the end, symbolizing acceptance of their differences.
The good thing about this movie is the incorporation of great sound effects that brings the feeling of horror in a dramatic family story. For jumpy viewers, the sudden noises might be a cause for a jump scare. But an element of horror that might be questionable for some is the weird transformation of the grandmother at the end and the connection of the old cabin in the woods to what is happening. If the house is being haunted by an entity that “possessed” the grandmother, that is the question that this movie will leave us with.
Overall, this movie is good for viewers who like thought-provoking and mind-blowing horror stories.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Relic (2020) three graves out of five graves.
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