Relic (Featuring Production Meetings)
Special thanks again to Clint Frederick from Production Meetings for sharing this review with us! Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the review for more from Clint and Production Meetings! We do weekly videos covering a whole bunch of topics, so be sure to check them out!
Relic (2020) movie review
To watch someone we love battle an invisible disease is one of the hardest things that we can ever endure. Unfortunately, I have some experience, like I am sure some of you do as well, with watching a loved one struggle with dementia/Alzheimer’s. The mind is a beautiful thing and to watch someone loose memories that they cherished is quite painful. Yet, it can also be very scary. This year new Australian director, Natalie Erika James, has manifested our fears into a new horror film starring Emily Mortimer (Mary Popping Returns) and Robyn Nevin (The Matrix Reloaded)…Relic.
After a few weeks of no contact from her elderly mother, Edna (Nevin), Kay (Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) return to their family home to find the home empty and Edna nowhere to be found. Kay and Sam inform the police and search parties are formed, but to no avail. Though, one morning Kay wakes up to find her mother in the kitchen making tea as if nothing has happened. However, it seems that Edna has brought something home with her that Kay and Sam may not be able to deal with.
I am a firm believer that I would like to end things on a good note, so I am going to start with the things I didn’t like about this movie…
The Bad: Honestly, I don’t really have much to say as far as ‘bad’ stuff to say about this film. Of course, if I would have to nitpick at James’ film…I would have to say that there is not much of a back story between these characters. There is some kind of rift between all of these women, with Kay at the center. Some tension between Kay and Sam that doesn’t really seem to come to light and a little rift between Kay and Edna, that can only be deduced as ‘daughter wanting to put mom in elderly community and mom not wanting to go’. However, none of this is really explored and so plot points are left to the audience to piece together for themselves. I think that this lack of character development goes to the detriment of the performances. Each of these characters are placed in the audience’s lap as they are and we, the audience, have to accept them that way through the entirety of the film. So because of that you get these off-putting performances of Mortimer and Heathcote and I know that I really wanted to like these characters more than I did.
The Good: This was a great debut from James. She does a good job building tension with camera movement and editing, but also the script she co-wrote. The script and meaning behind this film, I think, touches a lot of people emotionally and proves to be a perfect allegory to this savage disease. The use of the black mold throughout the house is perfect to the illustrate the slow spread of Edna’s memory loss.
I know that if you wade through the other reviews of this movie you will find the word ‘boring’ appear a lot. I didn’t think the film was boring by any means. This is a drama/horror film with a real monster as the villain, but if you do end up watching this film know that this film is a slow burn or a progressive set up to the end and that you are watching the villain of this story the whole time…just not in the way you expect.
The Verdict: This is definitely an ‘out-of-the-box’ type thriller…not horror, but thriller. I believe that this is a great start for the new director, and I would be intrigued to see what she has coming next. If you don’t go into this film looking for that supernatural monster, then you won’t be disappointed by this film. I say give this little film a shot because you might just find the heart of this film in an unexpected place.
Worth Your Time.
Thanks again to Clint Frederick from Production Meetings for sharing his thoughts with us! He has just a ton of film reviews over on his website, and as I mentioned above, we do weekly news covering a variety of film, television, and video game things, so be sure to check those out as well!
Production Meetings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyr99P_bCIbAI27Xqu8fxiA