Alicia Veliz – Guest Writer

Relic is the directorial debut of Natalie Erika James and although it’s been categorised in the genre of horror drama, I personally would put it under the thriller/drama genre. The movie seems to be a metaphor for dementia. The trailer is slightly misleading in that they tried to play up the supernatural tones a bit more, but that part of the movie felt kind of forced to me. James tried awfully hard to play up the haunted house angle but it was a swing and miss. Now, the part about it that tried to show you the horrible effects of dementia on a person, she got that part right.

Maybe not many of you out there have had to deal with an immediate family member suffering from this but I have. I had to watch as my ninety-something year old father slowly started to get pieces of himself chipped away by this terrible disease. It’s not only scary for the victim but also for the family because at some point the person becomes a mere shell of their former self and they seem to be a total stranger at times. In my personal experience what broke my heart the most was looking into my father’s eyes and seeing nothing. No sense of recognition and no fight left him when it came down to the end.

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A still from the film

We saw this being depicted in Relic although a bit more dramatic by using some shocking and disturbing visuals. There are also some scenes where you see the fear in the other two generations. For the mother and granddaughter their fear is that one day this might happen to them – being trapped in their minds while it slowly deteriorates around them. When the time comes would you be strong enough to stay and stick it out with them to the end, or would you chose to run away?

It’s a very symbolic movie but there are times where it dragged on especially during those scenes where they tried very hard to stick in that house being haunted bit at you. There are some disturbing scenes I should be warn you, but again it’s meant to symbolise the effect of the dementia. I give the representation a lot of props for the message that it tried to project to the audience. The atmosphere is quite tense and dark and there is an excellent build-up of that sense of dread throughout the film. All three actresses do a great job in this one and it’s not a bad effort for the director’s debut.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

For my Quick Bite review of The Wasp Network you can click here.