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Lovely Molly Review

Director: Eduardo Sanchez

Starring: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden, Ken Arnold

Running Time: 99 minutes

Certificate: 15

Synopsis: Newlywed Molly moves into her deceased father’s house in the countryside, where painful memories soon begin to haunt her.

LOVELY MOLLY is the brainchild of Eduardo Sanchez, part of the driving force behind cult-favourite THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. On this occasion, he directs and has co-written with Jamie Nash in this truly disturbing new take on the haunted house narrative.

The star of proceedings is Gretchen Lodge, who plays Molly Reynolds, who has recently got married. For some unbeknown reason, she has returned to her old family dwelling with her new husband Tim (Johnny Lewis) to set up home. But this isn’t any old house, oh no, it has been long abandoned after the death of both her parents there many years before, plus – we’re led to believe – Molly was once in a psychiatric hospital but is now seemingly okay to tie the knot and move back there, even though she hasn’t lived there for years.

Upon moving back into the desolate family home, where only old and dusty furniture exists, it transpires that Molly works as a cleaner in a local mall and her husband, Tim, drives trucks for a living (although doesn’t appear to own one) and they’re the couple who try-to-make-ends-meet. Not long into their awful wedded life and on her Birthday, Tim picks up some work and has to go, leaving her alone and isolated in the house…in the middle of the woods. Luckily for Molly, her pot-smoking sister Hannah (Alexandra Holden) comes to visit. Initially, Hannah is resistant at sharing her weed and suggests Molly has had previous ‘trouble’ with drugs but before you know it, she’s sharing the joint and what’s better than a little subtle paranoia to set off someone’s psychotic psychosis? That night, she starts to hear voices, childhood memories injected with repressed flashbacks kick off and things begin to spiral out of control.

On the positive side, Sanchez really shows off his talent when he builds an uncomfortable mix of extreme tension and the nail-biting unknown, throw in some psychological displacement to your lead character and you’re really hooked to see what barriers the character will break. Unfortunately, so many aspects of LOVELY MOLLY dissolve into depravity and the quintessential evil, it takes us back to the big question: Why did she move back here and what purpose does any of this downfall have? It’s fair to occasionally suspend disbelief but when the gaping plot-holes are so prominent, it can be difficult to give excessive praise. There’s also a question of whether the director wants this to be a found-footage film or not. Is ‘BLAIR WITCH’ Sanchez so comfortable with shuddery-camcorder, that he can’t let it go? LOVELY MOLLY can’t decide whether it wants to play it straight and it’s utterly distracting.

LOVELY MOLLY isn’t for the faint-hearted and even though it starts and builds promisingly, CABIN IN THE WOODS recently flipped this genre on its head and in such an impressive and immersive way. Gretchen Lodge is strong in the lead and offers the viewer an impressive psychotic breakdown, but in an often over-diluted genre, LOVELY MOLLY descends into downright pointless insanity and then implodes.

Lovely Molly opens in the UK on June 29th

Dan loves writing, film, music and photography. Originally from Devon, he did London for 4 years and now resides in Exeter. He also has a mild obsession with squirrels and cake. The latter being more of a hobby. Favourite movies include HIGH FIDELITY, ALMOST FAMOUS, ROXANNE, GOOD WILL HUNTING, JURASSIC PARK, too many Steve Martin films and Nolan's BATMAN universe. He can also be found on

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