RELIC is an oppressively creepy, deeply moving horror from already-distinct Australian filmmaking voice Natalie Erika James. Kay (Emily Mortimer) along with her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) goes looking for her missing dementia-suffering mother (Robyn Nevin) but when she reappears apparently fine and lucid things start to take a turn for the strange. The unsettled characters, the mouldering, shifting environment and the sinister unknowability of external tormentors makes for the perfect dementia parable. The imagery of the film’s creepy and surreal final stretch involving invasive mould, endless cluttered corridors and peeling flesh will stay with you for a long time, whatever the hell it really means. That’s the message here: don’t expect answers but do expect to be hypnotised, haunted and affected in profound and unexpected ways. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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