At this point, we all know what to expected from a haunted house horror movie. The poor residents of a very creepy, often old, house are being terrorized by some supernatural forces that picks them off one by one. But Natalie Erika James’ debut feature Relic, which hails from the Sundance Film Festival’s lauded Midnight section, puts a refreshing twist on the haunted house movie, setting up the Emily Mortimer-starring thriller as a family drama about the debilitating effects of dementia. And then things get sinister. Watch the Relic trailer below.
Directed by Natalie Erika James, who co-writes the script with Christian White, Relic stars Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, and Robyn Nevin as three generations of women who are dealing with the grandmother’s progressing dementia and a creepy presence in the house. Mortimer and Heathcote are a mother and daughter who arrive at the elderly grandmother Edna’s decaying country home after she mysteriously vanishes, only for her to turn up covered in dirt, insisting that something else had made its way into the house. At first convinced that Edna’s warnings are a product of her dementia, the mother and daughter start to suspect that something scary is amiss.
The film has all the normal elements of the haunted house genre, and plays up a sense of dread — even though we don’t really see anything apart from something that moves underneath a bed, Relic looks to be a convincingly frightening haunted house movie.
Here is the synopsis for Relic:
IFC Midnight invites you to preview RELIC, writer/director Natalie Erika James’ unforgettable and auspicious feature debut. When elderly mother Edna (Robyn Nevin) inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) rush to their family’s decaying country home, finding clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay’s concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she’s been clashes with Sam’s unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. As Edna’s behavior turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her. All three generations of women are brought together through trauma and a powerful sense of strength and loyalty to face the ultimate fear together. RELIC had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 to critical acclaim, praising the film as a fresh and terrifying twist on the notorious haunted-house tale.
Relic will premiere in theaters and on digital on July 10, 2020.
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