I am ashamed to admit, i don’t know of any horror film i have seen that was directed by a female, however after watching this, it is something i will be more aware of (if interested give this article a read!) Directed by Jennifer Kent an Australian newcomer that has made her mark and who i hope will have more quality output.
I’ve been wanting to watch this film for a long time, and last night i got the chance! i tried very hard not to overhype the film and in the end i was satisfied. A sophisticated horror film with a strong female lead that helps to banish the ‘last girl’ victim common in horror slasher films we are so used to seeing these days. In fact the female lead is no fresh faced 20 year old, she’s a struggling single mom and we can see why.
Art direction is really on point in this film, we are sucked into this bleak depressing world of Amelia’s, world=her mind. This film doesn’t use cheap jump scares, its very classy, it respects the viewer and i feel it is more complex then it seems,especially the ending but i’ll let you decide for yourself. This film for me felt like a present wrapped up in perfect black ribbon, its not over indulgent, but packed a lot simplistically.
Kent was also able to pay homage to horror and cinema, through the various clips shown from the tv screen as Amelia suffers insomnia. Her character for many single mothers will be relatable and this for them is the true horror, the hard realisation that sometimes you want to hurt your child. Kent delivers a taboo subject that when presented in the past the mother is witch-hunted, there is no sympathy. However Kent does something during the first act of the film, We feel like the mother, i’m sure we can all say we wanted to hurt the child. A hard cold truth, that the film makes the audience realise.
There are many themes dealt within this film that are very realistic, mixed with this seemingly childish horror monster, the juxtaposition is confusing but also deliberate, for me this shows the horror of a mental breakdown and how it is scary, and doesn’t make sense. Kent is brilliant and has made a thought provoking film with many layers, that is so refreshing from the horror sequels and slashers! please check this one out if your a serious horror fan.