British Gothic Horror ‘Amulet’ is Stylish but Sluggish

Alice Oscura- Featured Writer

Amulet is a British gothic horror that is the directorial debut of actress-turned-director Romola Garai. The story is basically about a homeless ex-soldier Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) that is offered a place to stay in a decaying house with a strange young woman, Magda (Carla Juri), who tends to her dying mother. However, things get extremely weird, dark, and out of control the more that he gets involved with Magda and house repairs.

For those of you who do not know an amulet is basically a good luck charm. Unfortunately for the main character in this movie the good luck charm was definitely not for him.
This one is quite sluggishly paced because I believe that the director was really reluctant to reveal too much too soon, but the movie suffers greatly due to this. The characters are not fleshed out and you are left confused for an exceptionally long time trying to figure what path it is going take.

MAN: I think there’s someone upstairs WOMAN: We don’t have an upstairs

Not to mention that there are some particularly gruesome, disturbing visuals that at first seem to have no meaning behind them until the big reveal. The romance-driven scenes feel very awkward and out of place although I have to give the actress Carla Juri some stars for her portrayal as an extremely naïve, sheltered young woman.

The film seems to be an allegory for guilt and punishment. There are some very awkwardly placed flashbacks of an event in Tomaz’s past that would explain why he is in the situation he is in now. And although he seems to be filled with regret, the story goes unto depict that there is technically no escape from his crime and that he has to be made to pay. Rather viciously so I might add. It is a bit much in my opinion but, I kind of get where the director was going. She was trying her best to demonise the male characters by using the amulet as a symbol of an old Pagan goddess that seems to be a protector of women by seeking retribution for violence against women.

I am smelling someone sinning in here…

During the film you get the feeling that the director puts more emphasis on visuals rather than building the story because the atmosphere and visuals are so disturbing to the viewer that you cannot help but to keep looking at it. I thought that the movie was a bit on the weird end of the spectrum and although there was a deep message trying to be brought across, the audience will not come away feeling good that justice was done or that there is retribution. You will just be left feeling quite disturbed at what you just saw, and you might need to watch some SpongeBob in order to clear out your mind and remove the heavy.

Rating: 4 out of 10

For my review of Indie Horror The Unfamiliar you can click here. For more ghostly reviews you can follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here. 

Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.

I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.

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