A couple of months back I attended a press screening of a new horror flick called Lovely Molly, then went home and banged out a review about how damn depressing it was. My write-up was never published, because at the last minute the film's distributor decided not to show it theatrically in Vancouver.
Today, though, Lovely Molly's being released on DVD and Blu-ray, so if you've got a real hankering for feeling crappy tonight, have at 'er. Here's my resurrected review:
Talk about depressing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so bummed out by a horror flick as I was by writer-director Eduardo Sánchez’s Lovely Molly. And I’ve seen every single Friday the 13th.
The unrelenting downerfest opens with closeup camcorder footage of a sobbing young woman (hugely impressive newcomer Gretchen Lodge) jamming a knife against her own throat. Excrutiating moments crawl by until she finally decides not to slash.
Then the film flashes back to reveal how poor Molly came to be in such a wretched state. Utilizing the found-footage format Sánchez originally hit the jackpot with as codirector of The Blair Witch Project, it shows her seemingly happy wedding to Tim (Johnny Lewis) and their move into the old farmhouse where Molly and her older sister Hannah (Alexandra Holden) grew up. They didn’t grow up happily, though, as hinted at by family snapshots of their unsmiling father, who has since died.
Sánchez conjures some effective scares early on, when the couple is woken up by their burglar alarm and startled by noises coming from the big house’s ground floor. Those mysterious occurences give way to the knowledge that Molly’s mind has been poisoned by the double-whammy of childhood abuse and drug addiction. Long-haul trucker Tim is hardly ever home to help her deal with the demons of her past, which come back to haunt Molly when she’s alone in the remote, creaky-as-hell farmhouse.
Videotaping the freakiness doesn’t help Molly any, and things just keep getting gloomier and gloomier as her psychosis/possession (take your pick) grows. Lips get viciously bitten. Skulls get punctured with screwdrivers. Rotten horse carcasses get yanked from basement ceilings. Then things start to get weird.
But mostly they’re just gloomy. And bleak. If you’re in the mood for gloomy bleakness, Lovely Molly’s got you covered.
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