Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: A young girl finds solace in her artist father and the ghost of her dead mother.
Review: Some of the best horror movies out there are the ones that take real-life trauma and adds a horror twist to it. The Babadook explores grief, The Witch explores human frailty and the dangers of repression, and Hereditary takes the fear of inheriting metal illness to a whole other level. Similarly, Separation is a supernatural take on what divorce and death does to young children (or in this case, a little girl) who are trapped in a situation they have no control over.
From William Brent Bell, the same director behind The Boy, it’s sequel Brahms: The Boy II, and the very underrated Wer, Separation tells the story of a married couple, Maggie (Mamie Gummer of True Detective and The Right Stuff) and Jeff (Rupert Friend of Hitman: Agent 47 and The Young Victoria), and their young daughter Jenny played by Violet McGraw, who is no stranger to the genre after appearing in The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep. Maggie is a successful lawyer who is tired of her somewhat lazy aspiring comic book artist husband being unemployed, and she files for divorce as well as sole custody of their daughter.
Before things can be settled, Maggie is killed by a hit-and-run. Jeff does everything he can to step up and take care of Jenny, but before you can say “poltergeist” strange and disturbing things start happening in their home and the entity causing it has its sights set squarely on sweet little Jenny.
I was pleasantly surprised by the look of these supernatural monsters. With a nice balance of practical and special effects, we’re given nightmare-inducing puppets coming to life and an uber creepy contortionist clown played by Troy James. You may not know his name, but if you watch The Flash on the CW you’ll know him better as the villain Rag Doll. Or any horror movie with a contorting character it’s probably Troy James behind the makeup (Jangly Man in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or the Backwards Man in Black Box to name a few). Add to that Separation’s main “baddie,” which was some sort of witchy-looking grim reaper-type creature, and you have a crew of monsters that all looked original in appearance, and most scenes involving them were genuinely creepy.
The actors were all fine in their roles and kept me engaged throughout. That said, it’s not a perfect horror movie as it suffers from a runtime that feels a tad too long. The first act could’ve used a bit of editing to tighten things up and get us to the supernatural stuff sooner. It’s also predictable as hell. I guessed about 90 per cent of what was going to happen and I was 100 per cent right.
Still, Separation isn’t bad. It’s the kind of horror movie I would show to someone who doesn’t like hardcore horror, but who scares easily (I already have a victim in mind LOL). And if you’re a true horror fan, I think it’s worth a look.
Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10
For my review of supernatural horror Come Play you can click here. Or for my review of Brahms II: The Boy you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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