Directed By Eduardo Sanchez
After a three-year hiatus, director Eduardo Sanchez (best known as the co-director of The Blair Witch Project) returns to the director’s chair to frighten audiences with yet another ambiguous possession film. Those who are expecting another mainstream hand-held horror film like The Last Exorcism will be in for an unsettling surprise for Sanchez’s latest offering doesn’t just rely on cheap tricks and gags to spook its audience. Rather, Lovely Molly maintains its vigor by not adhering to the conventions of the possession sub-genre, making it an unforeseen thriller full of disconcerting terror.
Newlywed Molly (Lodge) lives a fairly mediocre and typical life for a woman in her late twenties. She works at a hardware store and is in strong recovery over her past drug addictions while her husband, Tim (Lewis), works hard as trucker. To save money, the pair move into Molly’s late father’s isolated farmhouse out in the countryside. Three months after the pair have moved in, strange and unnerving occurrences starts happening in their house, and when Tim goes away for business on Molly’s birthday, the frightened wife is left alone in her family home that holds a disturbing past and is forced to relive horrible childhood memories when a ghostly malevolent being attacks her physically, mentally and sexually, which causes her to fall into a downward spiral of temptation and sin.
Lovely Molly is not fast-paced by any means and is full of premeditated restraint, which effectively allows the film to build up to a foundation of fear and trepidation in regard to the evolving possession of Molly. Writer/director Eduardo Sanchez also pay homage to his humble Blair Witch beginnings as he is able to juxtapose creepy cinema verite sequences that will keep viewers in a constant state of uneasiness.
The film lays heavily on Lodge’s shoulders, and her performance as the deeply damaged Molly is as heart-wrenching as it is spine-tingling for the audience is forced to watch Molly’s transformation from a relatable young woman in her twenties battling to maintain sobriety to a crazed and possessed being full of murderous tendencies.
Just like The Entity, the underlying theme of sexual and physical abuse drives the story in Lovely Molly, and the demonic symbolism throughout the entire film also makes it just that more unsettling to sit through.
Lovely Molly is a well performed slow-burning horror tale that doesn’t jump out at you with a blatant brand of scares, but rather it slowly eats away at the viewer’s sense of refuge with disturbing imagery and grotesque reveals. The ending will frighten some and confuse others, but whatever your reaction is — it is guaranteed to haunt you for hours or possibly days afterward.
4 out of 5