Relic – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Relic – Aging … The Terror of Memories

The trials and tribulations of horror.  Standing at a crossroads, you will think about the themes that can make the genre stand out.  Is it the gorefest of a slasher, thrills of the supernatural or the drastic survival of a psycho?  Whatever it is, horror can be indifferent by the end of the tale.  This latest film pushes you to rethink about the purpose of terror.  With a methodical approach through characterization, Relic showcases something truly unique.  Even when things get polarizing, Relic is one that redefines what horror can be.

Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) travel to their mother/grandmother home to find her gone.  When Edna (Robyn Nevin) suddenly reappears, an unknown force begins to terrorize everyone.  Facing uncertainty, how will the woman survive this threat?  From the beginning, the directive is to push the audience through the unexplained with subtle foreshadowing.  This type of storytelling is methodical, but it allows for the perspective to be driven by the main character(s).  At the center of the inciting incident (Edna’s disappearance) is Kay and Sam.  They become the driving force of the investigation (for the audience) traveling to Edna’s home and seeking out the truth.  Through the first act, exposition is driven through conversations.  Bits of the past help provide explanation of what may be factual, but there is a hazy complexion of what is ironclad to the situation.  The disappearance leaves the characters unhinged, creating a space of shock when Edna reappears (without explanation).  This leads into a second act where atmosphere, common scare tactics and holistic dread come into play.  This creates scenes where you have a fervor of realistic conflicts with family drama, mental disorder and the supernatural.  This combination leads to a sporadic display of red herrings and convoluted plot points.  There are mentions about Edna’s dementia and the unknown threat, but explanations are left loose as forward momentum is focused on survival.

As the story continues, it begins to push that hazy complexion to the forefront.  There is a real sense of dread, but the unexplained keeps coming to conflict of creating actualization of the genre.  You have distinct differences of what is expected, creating circumstances that leave you guessing about what comes next.  As everything comes to head in the third act, it levels out unexplained dynamics with revelations that create odd wonderments.  This leads to an ambiguous ending that drives deeper plot holes to the journey, but also creates an unneeded allegory of human endeavor.  Relic is a film that pushes the idea of what is horror, but leaves you polarized of its value.  If you want to see something unique, I say check it out.  It is available on VOD, but it is worth seeing at the theaters at the right price. 

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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