Romola Garai has been entertaining audiences as an actress for the last two decades in films like Atonement and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (underrated and she is delightful in it,) but with the upcoming horror movie Amulet, she makes the leap behind the scenes. Written and directed by Garai in her feature debut as a filmmaker, Amulet stars Alex Secareanu as Tomaz, a homeless ex-soldier trying to cope with his trauma when he finds hope in the form of a woman (Carla Juri) living with her ailing mother, who agrees to let Tomaz live with her free of charge if he helps her fix up the house. And apparently there’s a whole lot more to this mysterious movie that we don’t want to know before we go in — or, as Collider’s Perri Nemiroff said in her review: “I can’t tell you why this movie owns.” Fair enough.
In fact, Perri gave Amulet a glowing review back at Sundance earlier this year, where she said:
“Forgive the vague description of the horrors at play, but Amulet is a movie well worth walking into knowing as little as possible. There’s a fascinating, multi-layered mystery unfolding that Garai handles with great finesse. The result is an eerie, all-consuming puzzle that reveals it’s got quite a bit to say about genre assumptions, gender dynamics and forgiveness upon its completion. The points it makes are mighty direct but also come through shockingly naturally in the nightmare Garai scripted, a quality that ensures Amulet makes an indelible impression.”
Here’s the official synopsis:
Following an accident that leaves him homeless in London, former soldier Tomaz is brought to the rotting home of Magda, a lonely woman in desperate need of help as she looks after her dying mother. Though at first resistant, Magda eventually welcomes him into their lives and allows him to help her care for them. But as he worms his way into their routine and begins to fall for Magda, Tomaz starts to notice strange, unexplainable, and ugly phenomena. Something seems very wrong with the mysterious old woman who never leaves the top floor, and Magda may in fact be enslaved to do her otherworldly bidding.