Image Courtesy of IFC Midnight

Film Review: Relic

14:00 July 25, 2020
By: David Vicari

If you are not too crazy about 2014's The Babadook, then the new Relic may not be your cup of tea, either. Relic is psychological horror, so there are no real monsters or killers slathering the walls with blood and gore. Rather, it's a metaphor for the fear of aging and being forgotten by loved ones.

When the elderly Edna (Robyn Nevin) goes missing from her isolated home near the forest, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) travel to the house to look for her. A few days later, a disheveled Edna comes out of the forest saying strange things, such as that someone is coming into the house at night. Sam wants to stay with her grandmother, but Kay wants to get back to work in the city. Strange noises in the house and odd behavior by Edna keep the women there.

This feature debut from director/co-writer Natalie Erika James is generally well done. It's slow but never boring, and the constant foreboding atmosphere really gets under your skin.

What did bother me was the scene when Kay and Sam hear something in the walls that sounds like a body being dragged into the attic. That scene has no ending. It just cuts to the next day without it being mentioned again. A great joke would have been if one of them said that it was probably the sound of old plumbing. And those final shots I saw coming a mile away because the movie wants to be thoughtful, yet spooky at the same time.

Still, the third act is intense, and any horror movie that tackles aging and dementia is a cut above the norm.

Relic is streaming on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Google Play.

*** Stars (Out of Four)

Sign Up!