Main cast: Carla Juri (Magda), Alec Secareanu (Tomaz), Angeliki Papoulia (Miriam), Anah Ruddin (Magda’s Mother), and Imelda Staunton (Sister Claire)
Director: Romola Garai
Tomaz is an immigrant laborer in London, living in a shelter with other refugees when he’s not working and being at the receiving end of filthy Londoners for being a person of color.
Those Londoners are terrible people, you know. The director and screenwriter, Romola Garai, is a privileged half-Jewish woman born to wealth that has spent the last decade or so making a career out of telling everyone how better she is than every other white person out there, especially those icky men, so she should know. Well, except for the wealthy white man that she married, maybe because he is the clear exception like her, the rare superior white savior that will save us poor heathens of the third world by getting film roles in the same industry she continuously decries as sexist, rapist, racist, and what not, and maybe the wokeness of her movies will spread goodwill to the world by magical osmosis or something. That’s right, poor oppressed people of the world, keep consuming the products from these woke Hollywood types, because giving them money is the only way to give racism, sexism, et cetera the finger.
Back to Amulet, Tomaz wakes up one evening to discover that the shelter is on fire. Luckily for him, he is found by Sister Claire, who then leads him to Magda, telling him that Magda could use some help around the house as the poor dear cares for her ailing mother. Tomaz soon settles in despite the initial awkwardness between he and Magda, and the two even feel some chemistry between them. Unfortunately, he soon learns that there is something not quite normal, or even nice, about Magda’s mother…
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Ms Garai doesn’t want to make a horror movie, judging from this movie. She wants to direct an award-winning film, so she treats this one like a formulaic award bait. Lots of slow motion scenes, lingering shots of a lovingly lit scene… why have a scene that lasts five minutes when you can stretch it to 15, after all. Characters don’t talk, they ejaculate stilted sentences contrived to be full of double and even triple meanings in such a heavy-handed manner that even a deaf person will flinch upon hearing them. My favorite is a woman, a cashier at a gas station who is a stranger to Magda, telling her that everyone needs to forget and move on, and Magda replies by intoning “Never forget!” like she’s delivering the bloody Gettysburg Address herself. Why would two strangers, at a gas stop of all places, say these things? Oh, that’s right, because this is a deep and intelligent movie.
The only horror elements here stem from the portrayal of pregnancy as an abominable affront to nature, the physical changes brought upon by pregnancy repugnant and wrong, and the child that emerges from the womb is a monstrous thing. Hence, I scratch my head when this movie is heralded as a “feminist” horror film. How is it feminist when it portrays the very essence of femininity as something terrifying and disgusting, a suitable punishment to be inflicted upon wicked, evil men in this world?
Then again, maybe pregnancy is a nasty, nasty thing to Ms Garai because it ruins her waistline or something; who knows with all these wealthy upper-class women play-pretending to be feminists these days while enjoying life thanks to money left to them by their wealthy parents.
I also scratch my head with all these claims of this movie being feminist, because ultimately, it’s about women being forced to sacrifice their lives to tend to evil, evil men. Worse, Sister Claire is basically pimping out these women to the evil man in question. Even at the end, Magda is still forced to care for the designated monster in this movie. Why can’t a man be the caretaker of great evil men for a change? Why must it always be women? At any rate, how is this movie feminist again?
Amulet is a visually appealing movie, thanks to lovely lighting and perfectly shot picturesque scenes. However, the story is a hot mess of pretentious and vainglorious babble and metaphors that end up completely missing the point altogether. The whole thing reeks of a vanity project by some pampered princess that decides one morning that she wants to be a director, and the male head of the studio pats her head and says, “Dear, dear, nobody is going to fund the money unless you do something marketable, like a horror film just like that Jason Blum fellow is doing. You’ll be fine, sweetheart, just tell everyone that if they hated your film, they are clearly misogynist bigots that deserve to cancelled, and everyone will say they love it. Run along now, darling, daddy has actual serious work to do.”
Seriously, I don’t know whom this movie is for. Not the typical horror fan, that’s for sure. Perhaps it’s a movie aimed at people that will write gushing reviews for woke media, so they can pat themselves for being so brilliant as to recognize brave and stunning movies when they see it, and then Ms Garai can pat herself too, because all these glowing reviews only mean that, once again, she is proven right, that she is indeed the most special princess in the world. Me, I’m off to watch a real horror film next.