Evil in the House
An old broken-down house, strange demons, and a massive forest -- all come together in Amulet, actress Romola Garaiís first feature film behind the camera. She wrote the script and directed this unusual horror offering. An ambitious undertaking, for sure.
While many things do not work out, the movie boasts intriguing cinematography by Laura Bellingham (Siren) and an excellent cast including Alec Secareanu (Tudo), Carla Juri (Brimstone), Anah Ruddin (Four Warriors), Angeliki Papoulia (The Lobster), and the great Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake), who has a ball playing a seemingly helpful nun here.
The story follows Tomas (Secareanu), an unemployed former soldier haunted by a forest experience with Miriam (Papoulia), a runaway. He then agrees to help Magda (Juri), an attractive young woman while she's taking care of her dying mother (Ruddin) in a miserable decaying house. As the film unfolds, strange things happen, and Tomas begins to question his own moral character as well as the essence of evil.
This is the first time I've seen Secareanu on screen, and I am quite impressed. His changing facial expressions, body language and emotional range remind me of a young Antonio Banderas (be still my heart).
From bright sunshine to creepy blur,
ďAmuletĒ wants us to endure
a spooky tale Ė horror delayed,
with confusion for us displayed.
Silence mixed with misery moans
and frantic flashbacks plus some groans,
this horror flick seems gone awry.
But actors give it a grand try!
Tomas, a young Banderas sort,
brings wonder to the center court.
He makes a mistake. Is he good?
Can he stop evil as he should?
Dear Sister Claire, a caring nun,
counsels Tomas because itís fun.
Three other women bother him.
Will the amulet do him in?
Can evil be caught like a plague?
Amuletís answer? Itís not vague.
Seeing this film may disturb you.
Itís not for all, just for a few.
It is best to avoid the beginning of evil. --- Henry David Thoreau
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil. --- Aristotle
(Released by Head Gear Films and rated "R" for some strong violence, bloody images, a sexual assault, and brief language and nudity.)