Lovely Molly (2011)
Lovely Molly is the new film from the director of the Blair Witch Project Eduardo Sanchez. Since he struck solid gold with the Blair Witch (and he did, love or hate the movie it raked in the cash) he unfortunately has not had much luck. He has had a couple of projects but personally I have not seen them or know much about them. Lovely Molly is his comeback and although it will not be remembered like the buzz of the Blair Witch it is still an exceptional film.
It is about a newlywed Molly and her husband who move into her deceased fathers home where painful memories soon begin to haunt her. Memories of sexual abuse lead Molly to delve into old drug habits. As her sanity slips the people around her including her sister, husband and pastor wish to help but there is more going on than anyone can ever know.
Coming from the director of the Blair Witch it may surprise you that this is not a found footage film. Having said that it does use handheld point of view video as a narrative means on occasion. Call it a director trademark. It is cut into traditional staged shots and works quite well. The film begins with a throwback to the Blair Witch with a crying woman talking to camera and this begins the film of with a bang. It gripped me from the moment it began but it never seemed like a cheesy parody or throwback. The crying to camera scene has been parodied to death but it was only after I finished the film that I realised the similarities.
From there the film begins with the wedding of Molly and her husband and soon moves on to the new house where the trouble begins. For a modern movie, only a year old at this point it is incredibly slow. None of this quick cutting hyper MTV style of editing. The film is a very slow burn. No real jump scares to speak of, instead the film slowly builds atmosphere forever increasing until the end.
The real power of this slow burn is the mystery it creates. The way the film is presented and shot I always felt like I was trying to peer around a corner. Strange noises and odd activity will be just out of sight often behind a wall or literally just around the corner. The camera will move slowly building tension as we the audience desperately try to lean to the side and get a look at what may be there. No matter how much we try we cannot see until the camera gets there for us. It is beautiful and always had me incredibly anxious to see that next turn.
The mystery does not stop there. The film only gives us just enough information so we can make sense of the story. Strange things will happen but are not explained. We as the audience are left scratching our heads aching to know what is going on. Luckily everything that occurs is part of a long slow building story arc on which you can form your own theories about by the end. And you will have your own theories, because as much (or as little) as the film reveals what is really happening is open to interpretation.
Mark my words the end, merely a 30 second night vision shot will have you yelling “WHAT THE FUCK?” I did and then I literally rewound the shot and played it back half a dozen times just make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing.
I loved the hell out of this film. If I was going to criticise it I might say that it will be to slow for some people. In an age where most horror is quick cutting jump scares and flashes this film really stands out.
I loved it. I hope you give it a watch.