Magazine article Screen International

Lovely Molly

Magazine article Screen International

Lovely Molly

Article excerpt

Dir: Eduardo Sanchez. US. 2011. 99mins

In Lovely Molly, the co-director of The Blair Witch Project returns to bare-boned horror. This time, along with the hand-held camera from Walmart and the mysterious forest, there's blood.

The film promises that Gretchen Lodge will be back to prove herself after this impressive beginning.

Blair Witch is a formidable franchise for horror fans and cinema geeks worldwide. Sheer curiosity about director/writer/editor Eduardo Sanchez's new twist on it will be strong. Purists are sure to carp, but word of mouth through social media should enable Lovely Molly to tap into that huge public in cinemas and home video. Unknown Gretchen Lodge, an astounding discovery in the lead as a haunted possessed new bride, is a solid asset for any advertising campaign. She's one reason to see it on the screen.

We're back in Blair Witch country, rural Maryland, as ex-addict Molly (Lodge) and husband, Tim (Johnny Lewis), move into a stone house where Molly's family once lived. Pictures of Molly's deceased father are everywhere. The working couple is broke. Their only insurance is a baseball bat that they keep in the upstairs bedroom in case a prowler happens by.

With Tim away some nights for his job, Molly hears noises and voices, recording what she can observe (Blair Witch style) with a super-cheap video camera that she used at her wedding. Suspecting that her father is alive somewhere nearby, Molly descends into fright and fantasy as painful childhood memories of the house are exhumed. She slips back into drugs, and worse.

The visual template of Lovely Molly will be familiar, with a quivering hand-held camera operating like a fear-seeking device in the house's creaky stairwells and prying in images of the recent past. Dread takes over as family video textures blend with those shot in minimal light on a RED camera, an extravagance by the standards of the original. …

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