What has Eduardo Sánchez been up to since Blair Witch in 1999? Not a whole lot, according to some quick research (though the poster for 2008’s Seventh Moon looks intriguingly nuts). So I’ll go ahead and call Lovely Molly a comeback, since it seems to be getting a proper general release in places people live and congregate.
Lovely Molly is about a newlywed couple, Molly and Tim, who move into Molly’s parents’ old house.
Bad things happened there, the audience will immediately assume it was child abuse, that Molly’s father was involved, and that he is some kind of undead horse creature. Something is clip-clopping around the house, being creepy, causing possession and obsessive videotaping.
For anyone sick of found-footage horror movies (and the shaky camerawork that goes with them), breathe a little easier, most of this is shot the traditional way. There are handheld segments, as Molly wants to prove that her father’s horse-ghost is real, but they take up maybe a quarter of the running time.
Main question: is it scary? On and off. The opening half hour works well, as things moving around in a supposedly empty house usually do. The closer we get to the invader, the less fearful it is. He clomps around singing an Irish folk song called Lovely Molly in a deep, gravelly voice. This would be more effective if I actually knew what the song sounded like when accompanied by a harp and some redhead in a rock pool (or even Molly’s Dad in alive-form) for contrast. Maybe it’s much better known in other places.
It meanders a bit in the middle. Molly goes back on heroin (by the way, she used to be on heroin), in a storyline that doesn’t really affect anything or go anywhere. Bouts of possession cause her to be naked and sexually aggressive a lot, which doesn’t seem to tie in with the idea that she’s possessed or under demon-orders. She lopes around the woods, filming the neighbour’s children. There is always the possibility that she’s just plain crazy.
The film does that annoying thing where people talk around a subject, in this case Molly’s Dad, in a way that’s purely to keep information from the audience. She says things like “he’s alive”, or “he was here”, except I don’t know if we’re genuinely not supposed to know to whom she’s referring, because while it’s never explicitly stated, it’s also extremely obvious.
You may have noticed I’ve mentioned horse monsters a couple of times in this review, and may wonder what the symbolism is, what Molly’s father’s connection to horses was, or perhaps why he sounds like one as he’s walking around. Best of luck with that, because I’m none the wiser. He had, or liked, horses. Maybe it’s a Buddhist cautionary tale, abuse your children and return in an ironic mockery of your wishes.
Overall pretty standard. Some creepy sequences. Mystery that we already know most of the explanation to because it’s not particularly mysterious. I’ll give it this though, the last shot is pretty terrifying and merits a half-star all to itself.
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