A frustrated, angry teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother.
A slow-burn horror that doesn't quite burn enough. Before I get started let me just say that angst and anger are not the same thing. I have read so many reviews that have described the character of Leah as angst-ridden. Angst is fear or anxiety, often about the future, it is not the same thing as anger... Leah is a teen living with her grieving mother. She likes black metal and the occult. She's not completely off the rails, still respects her mother, but she is clearly dealing with the loss of her father as is her mother. Her mum decides it is time to uproot from the family home and shift to a cabin in the woods. After a massive argument the angry teen summons a demon/witch/entity to kill her mum, and spends the rest of the film regretting and trying to reverse the ritual. There's some good acting, some nicely fleshed out characters with a lot of grey moral areas, no one is completely good or completely bad. The mother is simultaneously cold, selfish, distant, loving, caring and concerned. The daughter is angry, upset, respectful and loving. The witch is a little like the shark in jaws, all subtle out of focus, with only the odd decent look at it. That is both a good and a bad thing. Fans of horror might feel let down, but fans of thrillers might think it is all a little too much There are some monumentally bad decisions which are hard to get over, and the ending lacked some punch, but it is mostly a well made quiet film. 6/10
Alone Alone 2020 ★★★½ Rewatched 17 Sep, 2020 Surly goth teenagers dabbling in the occult have become a horror movie cliché, but with Adam MacDonald's follow-up to his excellent debut Backcountry, it is an effective and compelling slow burn. With great performances from the leads (including Laurie Holden of The Mist and The Walking Dead), it explores what happens when a troubled teen follows up on her darkest wish. The final act is creepy and disturbing even though it comes to an abrupt end too early leaving us wanting more.