Have you ever run across some symbolic statue or piece of art and wondered if it were an archaic treasure, fertility piece or a fossil reflective of some type of demonic or religious symbolism? Of course, you have. Were you curious about its origins or if by possession would it alter your life?
When Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) is encouraged by Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton) to move in with Magda (Carla Juri) to assist with taking care of her ailing mother. In exchange for work around the house, Tomas would receive for room, board and meals. What Tomas could never see coming is his life being turned upside down in more ways than could ever have been anticipated.
Directed and written by Romola Garai, her sense of femininity merged with expert filmmaking is felt through every frame of the this demented horror thriller. When I tell you I held my breath with hunched shoulders and squinted eyes in anticipation of something unsavory going down…I don’t exaggerate. Exhaling with pure relief is a feeling replicated by me the majority of this film. What does that really mean? I could never anticipate what was coming next.
Cinematographer Laura Bellingham captures some exquisite, panoramically scenic forest shots, yet reels you into the intimacy of characters with extreme close-ups and out of focus two shots adding to the mystery and suspense of the piece.
Imelda Staunton, mostly known for quirky, comedic roles, is deliciously diabolical as Sister Carrie. Her whole aura is reminiscent of Ruth Gordon in the Polanski classic Rosemary’s Baby or Al Pacino in Taylor Hackford’s The Devil’s Advocate and is pure unadulterated craftiness at its best. Carla Juri is magnificent as Magda, who with one glance could makes you inquisitive as to what is going on behind those beautiful eyes. She gives Magda an onscreen tapestry so rich with complexity and range one doesn’t realize just how masterful her performance truly is.
It should also be noted that Garai, weaves an unconscious sensuous tale of an homeless ex-soldier (Alec Secareanu) in London, inhabiting a decayed home full of Amulet symbolism. Mixed with shadows, brown hues and a haunting soundtrack make AMULET perfect for home streaming. Produced by Magnolia Pictures, AMULET is streaming now.