The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

Atmospheric, creepy and filled with foreboding, The Last Will & Testament of Rosalind Leigh (or TLW&ToRL as I’ll call it… catchy, huh?) has a helluva lot of style seeping from its pores. It is genuinely well crafted and beautifully directed by Rodrigo Gudiño, who manages to eek out tension and uneasiness from one man and a room full of religious iconography…

…but it’s simply not a greatly compelling story. Slow-paced, a little confusing and tragically a bit plotless, TLW&ToRL will appeal to some audiences and bore others to tears.

After the death of his mother, antiques dealer Leon (Aaron Poole) decides to return to his childhood home to catalogue and assess the dozens of artifacts and items his mother had collected during her lifetime.

The majority of the ‘antiques’ appear to be statues and items of religious iconography, which dredges up some difficult memories for Leon. But this is the least of his troubles as there appears to be someone – or something – stalking him…

Aaron Poole does an excellent job as Leon, carries the movie on the back of an overwrought but perfectly delivered narration by Vanessa Redgrave. Convincingly distraught and constantly questioning his sanity, thankfully Aaron Poole gives the audience a compelling reason to follow him on his ‘journey’… which doesn’t really go anywhere. Then, after a paltry 72 minutes, TLW&ToRL ends without ever having offered a plot or explanation as to what you’ve been watching it for.

If you like your horror slow-paced and laced with esoteric imagery then you might be okay, but it might be too religion-heavy for most horror-lovers. It leaves more questions than answers, deliberately, and some may find it infuriatingly aloof and evasive. Others will love delving into the psychology of the piece, willing to pick apart the befuddled narration and Leon’s intriguing mental state to discover what Rodrigo Gudiño was trying to say.

TLW&ToRL is a difficult film to review. Gudiño is clearly a superb director and certainly a talent to watch, but his storytelling & scripting unfortunately leave The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh feeling like a dangerous lesson in how ‘style over substance’ isn’t necessary a good thing for a horror movie. A decent little film, but it may leave many viewers feeling cheated.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

2 Comments on “The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh”

  1. I disagree. I loved this, and thought the ending was pretty laid out.

    SPOILERS:

    It was all about the loneliness of the Mother, Leon was never even there. It’s her version of Hell; committing suicide, dying alone and forced to imagine over and over, that her son had come back to reconnect, but he never really does. It actually made me cry a little at the end.

    • Scullion says:

      Definitely worth a rewatch from me then. Perhaps I was in the wrong mood / frame of mind for this, but whatever the case I just wasn’t pulled in or captivated by it at the time.

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