23. Lovely Molly
Director: Eduardo Sanchez
Stars: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden, Ken Arnold
Horror and comedy go hand in hand—the two genres always have, and they always will. Essentially, horror filmmakers and directors concerned with laughs are all trying to accomplish the same thing, and that’s to provoke an extreme reaction out viewers.
But there’s nothing like a scary movie made with no other purpose than to wholly disturb audiences, without a nary of mirth. That’s exactly what Lovely Molly director, Eduardo Sanchez, one half of the revolutionaries behind the seminal found-footage hit The Blair Witch Project, has done with his latest creepfest, which warranted more attention during its brief, very limited May theatrical run.
Newcomer Gretchen Lodge, in a blistering performance, plays Molly, a newlywed who moves into her old childhood cabin with her new husband (Sons of Anarchy alum Johnny Lewis); once she’s there, past traumas bring Molly’s suppressed inner demons (i.e., drug abuse and fears of a malevolent supernatural force) to the surface.
Blending traditional camerawork with sporadic flips on the intimate, first-person/found-footage approach, Lovely Molly paints an extremely bleak picture of a volatile character. And, to his credit, Sanchez is surgical when it comes to setting an eerie mood (the film’s unnerving sound design plays a part in that) and serving up paranormal pay-offs.