NZIFF Online Movie Review – Relic (2020)

JulieGJuly 25, 202015 min
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Part of the NZIFF Online 2020 List of Films

\IMDb Rating: 6/10

R |1h 29min |Drama, Horror |10 Jul 2020 (Australia) |Movie

Metacritic:  77

Rotten Tomatoes Rating:  92% Certified Fresh (Critic Reviews), 49% Rotten (Audience Reviews)

Director: Natalie Erika James

Writers: Natalie Erika James, Christian White

Stars: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote

Movie Tagline: “Everything Decays”…

IMDb summary: A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.

It’s interesting to see the difference in reviews from critics and audiences. Critics, on the whole, are looking at this film favourably but the audience scores seem to be considerably lower. Could that just be due to the fact that this is a film that fuses real-life ailments, mental health issues and family with the idea of an “illness” manifesting as decay inside a family home?

It’s a very unique way of looking at mental illness, but when applied in a horror movie setting, it becomes even more disturbing. You may not see it at first, but the situation begins to make a lot more sense the further into the film you go.

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There is a scene between Kay and her mother near the very end of the film where everything comes to an incredibly moving climax. It’s the realisation of what this film is about, minus the horror aspect. It’s an incredibly moving scene and pays tribute to all of those caring souls who are in similar, real-life battles with mental illness affecting their loved ones.

We praise this film for its bold and unique method of story-telling that attempts to convey a much more important message about our society and its biases that maybe, unfortunately, lost on the majority of its audience.


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