Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Screen London Film Festival Review – Relic

London Film Festival Review – Relic

Henry Jordan begins his London Film Festival coverage with the creepy horror, Relic
5 mins read
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LFF Review: Relic

Relic official trailer

Henry Jordan begins his London Film Festival coverage with the creepy horror, Relic

What scares you the most? I don’t mean heights or sharks or sharks on a skyscraper, I mean what are the things that keep you up at night, when the solace of the sun seems years away? After watching Relic, your answer is almost certainly going to be terror of an illness passed down from one generation to the next, slowly making its way towards you.

Perhaps I need to immediately backtrack, because there’s a chance you may not consider Relic a horror film. If the word “horror” immediately brings to mind It or The Conjuring¸ then I am going to have to direct you away without any hesitation. Relic is the kind of horror film that spends most of its runtime crafting an ominous atmosphere and by the time it does start to get more intense, most viewers are going to have checked out. In case it isn’t clear, there aren’t many set pieces in a film about a mother and daughter going to a quiet part of Australia to try and find the family matriarch, which I personally wouldn’t have any other way.

Relic isn’t a casual watch but it’s one I would highly recommend for horror fans

The joy of such a low key film is that there’s so little need to talk about performances. The mother is played by Emily Mortimer and the daughter by Bella Heathcote, both of whom cement my already firm belief that they’re high quality actors. The stand out was Robyn Nevin as the grandmother, a creepy and yet oddly sympathetic presence when she’s on screen. Though there are other performers in the film most of the runtime stands on these strong shoulders, and thank goodness! They’re all superb.

Why I like Relic so much is because of how deeply metaphorical its events are. There’s certainly a literal story to follow if you want it, but with imagery of mould, locked rooms and dark corners, the illness theme seeps through. The third act suddenly ramps up with brilliant intensity, but the genius of the film is how it is willing to sacrifice this for a chilling couple of day-ruining final shots. Relic isn’t a casual watch (I’m hardly sure what kind of watch it is) but it’s one I would highly recommend for horror fans growing bored of the immediate horror of literally every part of existence right now.

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