Slow-burn indie horror films are all the rage right now, thanks to the success of movies like It Follows and Hereditary. Filmmaker Natalie Erika James is throwing her hat into the ring with her debut feature Relic, and the trailer looks pretty interesting, although the pull quotes from critics seem to spoil the film somewhat.
The movie follows Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) as they travel to the creaky old country house where her elderly mother Edna (Robyn Nevin) lives alone. Edna has mysteriously vanished, but reappears several days later just as mysteriously, covered in dirt as if she has just been wandering around in the woods. She insists that some sort of entity has been breaking into the house, and while Kay and Sam initially dismiss her, things begin to get all kinds of haunted.
Relic looks promising. The trailer is appreciably tense, featuring a few standout moments that could’ve easily just been wasted as jump scares by a less talented filmmaker but are put to far more sinister use by James. However, as I mentioned above, the trailer spoils the movie a bit with its need to assure us that it’s a horror movie that’s “about something”. The film is obviously dealing with dementia and the difficulty of caring for a family member afflicted by it, but the review blurbs seem to suggest how the movie will end, or are at least giving away the general tone of the climax. Of course I could be 100% wrong, and it’s entirely possible I’m reading too much into it because I’m excited to watch this movie and I get supremely annoyed by trailers that give the whole game away (I’m looking at you, Spider-Man: Homecoming). Check out the trailer below. Relic hits theaters and VOD July 10th. For more spooktacular trailers, immerse yourself in the just-announced Resident Evil: Village.