Lovely Molly (2012)

May I have your attention please! If you are my wife. Please do not watch this film. If you know my wife, happen to be friends with her or are related to her and you happen to hear of her contemplating watching this film - please do not let her. 'Lovely Molly' contains every single element that my lovely wife hates in film. There are no princesses, no love story. There is however, childhood emotional trauma, sexual assault, possibly haunted houses and an ending so ambiguous it would make her head explode. However, if you are not my wife and think you would enjoy a film that's deep in character study but may leave more questions than it gives answers, 'Lovely Molly' is something that you might want to check out.

Molly (Gretchen Lodge) is a recovering heroin addict who, after recently marrying Tim (the late Johnny Lewis) moves back into her families old farm house. She lives a mundane life working janitorial duties with her sister Hannah (Alexandra Holden) at the local hardware superstore (it's supposed to be a Home Depot, I believe). Tim is a long haul truck driver, which leaves Molly alone for long periods of time. Not the best recipe for recovery. For her birthday, her sister brings over a small cake and a joint. Which doesn't see like the most sisterly responsible thing to do. They split the joint, just as quickly Hannah leaves, leaving Molly alone once again. Then her dead father starts talking to her...and things go, as the kids say, "from zero to fucked up pretty damn fast."

Directed by Eduardo Sanchez, someone who knows a little something about ambiguous endings thanks to his co-direction (with Daniel Myrick) of 'The Blair Witch Project'. A film that whether you like it or not (I'm not sure. Is it cool to like it now or not? I'm so out of the loop on these things) you have to admit had one of the most ambiguous endings in recent memory. 'Molly' is more character study than horror film at time with the narrative switching back and forth between possible explanations for Mollys behavior. Is the house really haunted by the spirit of her dead father. Has she relapsed in her heroin addiction. Is she just crazy? All three can be plausible explanations depending upon which lens you watch the film through.

So much muddy water may discourage folks from really being able to absorb some of the wonderful things, especially the performance of newcomer Gretchen Lodge as Molly, that the film has going on. I don't know where Sanchez found Lodge but for someone (according to IMDB) appearing in only her second film, and literally having to carry every second of it, she is tremendous. The rest of the cast is also very good, although Johnny Lewis, who plays Mollys husband, Tim, passed away shortly after filming under very bizarre circumstances. It casts a weird pall over the film while Lewis is on screen. Knowing he had struggled with addiction in his personal life, something that may have ultimately lead to his death, counsel and try to support Molly in her relapses is oddly surreal.

Great performances aside, there is plenty wrong with 'Lovely Molly'. The film is very slow to get going. The real meat an potatoes of crazy don't really manifest themselves until the last 35 minutes of the film. There are jump scares and eerie sounds sprinkled through out the first two acts, but there's a lot of starting and stopping that throws off any momentum the film had up until that point.

Sanchez throws a lot of stuff at the wall here to see if it sticks. Some of it does (addiction, haunting, creepy farm house) but a lot of it doesn't (Mollys video camera, the whole subplot with the neighbors, Tim cheating, Pastor Bobby). He and co-writer Jaime Nash also craft some of the dumbest characters in recent memory, specifically Mollys sister Hannah, whose solution to her sisters relapse/craziness is to "talk to her."

'Lovely Molly' does so much right. But it also does a a lot wrong. Meaning it's another middling affair from Sanchez. Check it out for Lodges performance and if you are a fan of possible horse headed demons.

*** out of *****

No comments:

Post a Comment