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Relic (Natalie Erika James, 2020) wr. James & Christian White, prod. Sarah Shaw, Anna McLeish, Carver Films; Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote; psychological thriller; dementia; release date tba
... movie that deals with a common theme of Sundance 2020 (dementia) in a way that feels new and daring. It is not only our bodies and minds that will destroy us but when our loved ones leave us behind to face the demons on our own that damns us in the end. Most of all, James has made a stylish, eerie project that turns the haunted house story on its head – it is the failure of our own minds and bodies that will haunt us most of all. ... On the way out of Relic ... people weren’t just talking about effective horror filmmaking that doesn’t rely on jump scares or shaky camerawork to make an impact but what the film is trying to say about generational differences, mental illness, and acceptance. RogerEbert.
... Relic’s truly inventive climax, an abrupt shift into a visceral nightmare that tears apart notions of body and space and then sews them back together in a new, ghastly form. James resists bringing the film’s subtext to the forefront, in the process imbuing her enigmatic images with a lasting power, turning them into ciphers of broader ideas like abandonment, responsibility, and resentment as they relate to the withering human figure. Never relenting with its atmosphere of suffocating decay, the final stretch of Relic, if nothing else, heralds the arrival a bold and formidable voice in horror cinema. Slant.
Groves, Don 2019, 'World premiere for Natalie Erika James' Relic at Sundance, if.com.au.
Garry Gillard | New: 6 December, 2019 | Now: 8 August, 2020