3. Lovely Molly
Director: Eduardo Sanchez
Stars: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden
Modern-day horror doesn’t get much creepier than Lovely Molly, the latest effort from Eduardo Sanchez, one-half of the team behind 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. Which is, of course, a classic, but it’s perfectly in line to say that Lovely Molly is Sanchez’s best film to date. Pitch-black in its darkness and slickly ambiguous, the best genre film currently showing at SXSW moves along at an incredibly unnerving pace, slithering its way along until reaching a completely satisfying payoff.
Newcomer Gretchen Lodge is dynamite as the titular Molly, a newlywed who moves into her family’s old, spooky home with her new husband (Sons Of Anarchy vet Johnny Lewis); there, memories of her deceased father and the horse stable nearby settle into her mind, triggering a violent mental breakdown. Is it possession? Or an old drug addiction resurfacing?
Sanchez drops several clues for every possible explanation, along with seriously effective deaths, hints of the supernatural that aren’t telegraphed, and several haunting set-pieces, one of which keeps nails bit as Molly hears an unseen someone crooning a macabre tune.
Lovely Molly gets under your skin from its first moment through its eerie conclusion; it’s sophisticated genre material, and deserves to be this year’s Insidious if given the right marketing push.