Relic Image


By Norman Gidney | July 9, 2020

As the three women grapple with the ensuing descent into madness, secrets are revealed that continue to provoke uncertainty as to what is real or imagined. Yes, it is one of those, but director and co-writer, Natalie Erika James, plays things with a certain elegance that most titles in this particular sub-genre are missing. Compassion, above all else, is maintained as Kay and Sam watch in horror as Gran transforms before their eyes into a monster they barely recognize. I would admit, though, that with the litany of slow tracking shots and lingering mystery, I found myself growing a bit impatient for the action to kick in. It does, but it takes its sweet time. 

As much a drama as it is a horror film, Relic pairs the action down to three strong female leads and a few supporting characters here and there to break up the action. This is a smart move as we get to see Nevin, Mortimer, and Heathcoat really work to develop their believable history together as a family with history. 

“…a poignant observation on aging and death that is supported by a trio of knockout performances.”

I found Relic to be a film worth your time. Despite minor misgivings, it is a thoroughly engaging horror film with more on its mind than simply building to a climax. This is a poignant observation on aging and death that is supported by a trio of knockout performances and a female-heavy production.

Relic screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Relic (2020)

Directed: Natalie Erika James

Written: Natalie Erika James, Christian White

Starring: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Relic Image

"…As much a drama as it is a horror film"

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