Lovely Molly (2012)

Lovely Molly is an encapsulating and bizarre horror film that is both demented and disturbing and features an awesome central performance from Gretchen Lodge. Unfortunately it is also a little meandering and leaves more questions than it should.

When newlywed Molly (Gretchen Lodge) moves into her childhood home with husband Tim (Johnny Lewis) she’s hoping to forget her past and look forward to a wonderful future. Unfortunately this turns out to be deeply naïve wishful thinking and the move prompts some painful memories… and worse.

With her husband regularly away ‘driving a truck’, Molly is left alone in the house and begins experiencing some odd, paranormal happenings. Convinced it’s the ghost of her father, coming back (with his horse, apparently) to continue his reign of abuse, Molly returns to hard drugs and her sanity spirals out of control…

Lovely Molly features a fantastically brave performance from Gretchen Lodge, who plays the troubled Molly. Lodge literally puts everything into her role, engaging in sex scenes and frequent (and occasionally full frontal) nudity. It is a deeply believable performance and Lodge is captivating throughout, portraying Molly’s descent with gritty authenticity.

Lovely Molly comes from the mind of Eduardo Sánchez, who you may recognize as one of the creators of The Blair Witch Project. He writes again with writing-partner Jamie Nash, who worked with Sánchez on Altered and Seventh Moon.

Much like Seventh Moon, Nash and Sánchez prove with Lovely Molly that they are very good at developing characters but not quite as skilled when it comes to plotting or mystery. Lovely Molly occasionally meanders and is deliberately evasive when it comes to the ‘mystery’ involved. It is certainly intriguing and exciting, but it will frustrate some viewers.

There are a few questions left floating once the credits roll, some deliberate (like what the hell was in the woods at the end?!) and some not so deliberate (where did she get her endless supply of drugs from? The forest monster?).

My real gripe was the decision to have Molly move into her old home (filled with some horrible memories). It feels like one of those decisions that are necessary for the plot and not close to reality. The film pivots on this entire situation but it never explains WHY she moves back to this house with her new husband (I mean, where did they live before?!).

Luckily Eduardo Sánchez knows how to direct a horror and there are a number of creepy, deeply disturbing moments in Lovely Molly. It is atmospheric, spooky, creepy and occasionally very horrible – the CCTV camera reveal at Molly’s workplace is genuinely unpleasant.

A warning: some viewers will despise the gradual pace and deep subtlety of Lovely Molly, possibly drawn to the “creepy haunted house” vibe the trailer might provide, but this is nothing like Silent House or Paranormal Activity. You have been warned…

Overall Lovely Molly is a unique, twisted and well made little horror film. Gretchen Lodge is fantastic as the titular Molly and makes a potentially-ridiculous character utterly believable. This is a bizarre film that some may find slow and aggravatingly confusing, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

3 Comments on “Lovely Molly”

  1. Rawrsetta says:

    hey skullington,

    i know you’ve pointed out which films Lovely Molly *isn’t* like, but – as I haven’t seen any films ever – would you be able to recommend anything it’s similar to? Possibly takes influence from? wanna see wanna see wanna see :)

  2. admin says:

    I hated this film. HATED it. Gretchen Lodge was breathtaking though.

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