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Lovely Molly - Review

Lovely Molly

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

EDUARDO Sanchez has been off the radar ever since he helped to transform the horror landscape by co-writing and directing The Blair Witch Project. Sadly, his latest offering is an inferior comeback of sorts.

The most high profile thing he has done since Blair Witch, Lovely Molly is a deliberately ambiguous and thereby unsatisfying experience that wastes a terrific breakthrough performance from Gretchen Lodge.

She plays the Molly of the film’s title, a newly married former junkie who returns to her family home with husband (Johnny Lewis) in tow to begin her new life only to find that the ghosts of her past are never far behind.

For starters, things keep going bump in the night, while Molly herself becomes convinced that her late father is back from the dead.

All this makes her unstable, of course, and as her behaviour becomes more and more erratic, and sexually aggressive, it’s hard for friends and family to gauge whether there is merit in her claims of possible demonic possession or if she’s simply slipped back into old ways.

Sanchez’s film unfolds using a mixture of conventional techniques and shaky cam found footage, the latter of which finds the director repeating old tricks.

Like Blair Witch he also welcomes the uncertainty surrounding the film’s events (what’s real and what’s imagined) but really only succeeds in frustrating audiences, while giving rise to the suspicion that he may not know either.

What’s left is an emotionally uninvolving and utterly uninspired horror (featuring endless shots of Molly running around a creepy house) that’s only really worth seeing for Lodge’s fearless central performance.

As Molly, Lodge inhabits virtually every scene and is literally put through the wringer, duly obliging with a gutsy, warts-and-all type of performance that is difficult to forget.

Whether that’s ample reward for audiences, however, is unlikely given the film’s irredeemable failings. For Lodge herself, though, greater things surely (and deservedly) beckon.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 100mins
UK Release Date: June 29, 2012