It takes some doing nowadays to provoke a unique reaction from an audience who are otherwise saturated with the horror genre. In every form, horror films have come thick and fast: thrillers and gore-fests, full of suspense and alarm.
Lovely Molly is a terror-filled combination of all the usual ingredients of a horror film. Brimming with tension right from the start, the audience witness an amalgamation of all things frightening, beginning with an evident attempt at suicide.
The immediate impact of the opening scene is subsequently juxtaposed with film footage of the two main characters, Molly (Gretchen Lodge) and Tim (Johnny Lewis) getting married, something which lulls the audience into a false sense of security. Next witnessed is the newly married couple beginning their life together in Molly’s forsaken family home, in which the troubles begin.
Written and directed by Eduardo Sánchez, the audience are again treated to the point-of-view horror genre first introduced by Sánchez in The Blair Witch Project (1999). Since POV was brought into the horror genre, there have been some very successful films employing the technique, not least of which is the Paranormal Activity trilogy.
Right up in the face of the perceived threat, Molly uses a hand-held recording device to explore the happenings within their marital home. With Tim off at work and with a new exposed knowledge of a dark and distressing past emerging, things go from bad to worse for Molly.
Exhausting the use of the couple’s centuries-old manor, the tree-filled forest in their garden, intruder alarms and creaky stairs, the jumps are plentiful.
There is a significant turn-around in the film as more is learnt about Molly’s past. Along with the attempts to help from her sister Hannah (Alexandra Holden) the film climaxes in an unexpected showdown, which continues to incite questions such as who, where, and why? Is there really something supernatural going on, or is it something else?
With a rather gruesome interlude, an unexplained and peculiar ending, Lovely Molly seems to fall at the last hurdle. With suspense replaced with more than a smattering of gore, the film seems to lose its sense of the “unknown”, which was Paranormal Activity’s winning attribute.
Audiences have had their fair share of cinema gore, even in a comical films such as Shaun of the Dead and you begin to realise that when a film loses its sense of the unidentified, it loses its horror factor and just becomes another gore-fest.
All that being said, Lovely Molly certainly feels dissimilar to other films of its genre and successfully brings an abundance of suspense in the first half, followed by distinctly aberrant ending, touching on the psychotic.
Lovely Molly is released nationwide on 29th June 2012.
Watch the trailer for Lovely Molly here: