Lovely Molly Review

Lovely Molly is the new horror from Eduardo Sanchez of The Blair Witch Project fame, featuring newcomer Gretchen Lodge as Molly, with Johnny Lewis and Alexandra Holden as her long-suffering husband Tim and sister Hannah.

The newlyweds move into Molly’s dead parents’ house. Molly doesn’t like the house and Something in the house doesn’t like Molly.

But no one can see what Molly sees, so are her terrifying visions all in her head, or is some malevolent force targeting her for real?

Sanchez likes to sonically freak his audience out sonically. The sound design is filled with sustained high-pitched ringing, white noise, sudden bangs and hollow voices. This heightens your emotional state, which is fun, but also works to trick you; my heart is pounding therefore this film is good.

Despite its heart-pounding soundtrack, Lovely Molly falls short of horror goodness.

The film proper is spliced with footage from Molly’s camcorder. There’s no good reason for this, as whenever she grabs a camera during one of her visitations, we still cannot see what she sees.

So the technique has no revelatory purpose, rather it’s just a technical change of perspective.

Other recordings we’re shown, video diaries, a dead stag and spying on an unknown woman with a child, don’t help our understanding of Lovely Molly’s narrative either, instead creating confusion by neither following up on these or justifying the uncertain time scale these present.

Unless that tall guy’s head was blocking my view, not all cam footage displays a date so it wasn’t clear where the present action came in relation to this recorded footage.

Though Lodge gives a strong performance as Molly, it isn’t easy to care about her; which is essential for any film genre, but particularly horror.

Molly wants to convince everyone that she isn’t crazy, so she takes up heroin, runs around naked – ‘cause when a chick goes nuts, she has to take off all her clothes – bites things and is increasingly inconsistent with what she wants.

See, very normal behaviour.

By the end of the film, I was so bemused I forgot to leave the auditorium. I was left alone with only my questions for company, questions nobody should have to ask themselves.

Like what was with that maggoty stag? And the horse-head-man-body photographs that appear to be haunting Molly?

Many weird things occur, but they don’t come together and unite in a single shining moment of sense. So many elements seem to have been introduced just because they’re gross or weird.

The smorgasbord of a plot had too much and explained too little, while the unrelenting sound design left me leaping at light switches, but I couldn’t tell you what it was all about.

The only thing I can safely say about Lovely Molly is something happened.

EJ Robinson

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June 2012
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