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‘Relic’ Review: Robyn Nevin drums up fear in this slow-building horror set amid moldy walls, lost relationships

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Spoilers for ‘Relic’

Christmas lights blinking inside a dim, dilapidated house devoid of any life, barring a naked elderly woman almost frozen in time, such is the gripping and somewhat spine chilling opening shot of ‘Relic’. There’s an eerie blueness to ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, similar to the demonic redness of ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’. And joining the list of monochromatic horrors is Natalie Erika James debut feature – a chilling tale of deteriorating mental health and dementia symbolized by a decaying country home and its labyrinthine horrors.

Ahead of its digital premiere, James had addressed the story as a personal one over a statement. Her own grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, couldn’t recognize her which “at a certain level, it felt worse than death- to see your loved one progressively lose parts of themselves, and slowly become a stranger.” Sailing in the same ship in her film is a devastatingly terrifying Robyn Nevin as Edna whose erratic disappearances bring her distant daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) to the country home that turns into the most poignant element of horror.

The story opens with Kay and Sam arriving at Edna’s country home after she is reported missing. There’s an eerie sense of foreboding that the house reeks of death right from the get-go, unanswered mails make for pillars against the main door and dust settled home decor hints as a general wariness. It becomes clear Kay and Edna aren’t exactly the closest, but Sam harbors a special fondness for her. Sudden thuds and creepy groans between the walls leave the two suspicious, but what shocks them the most is Edna suddenly turning up out of the blue after three full days, refusing to talk about where she went or what she did, with a gaping bruise mid-chest.



 

 

Edna’s forgetfulness becomes more rapid and eccentric as she switches from remembering things and completely zoning out altogether. Her behavior towards Sam is crushingly real as most grandkids of people battling Alzheimer’s will have you believe. She goes from warm gifts to violent accusations. Her loosening grip on her reality is brought out by the way she protests and kicks Sam out of her own room screaming “It’s my house!”, and in Sam’s bewildered heartbreak lies the viewer’s confusion regarding what exactly is plaguing Edna. Heathcote as Sam is very, very different from her previous horror ‘Neon Demon’, where she was the cannibalistic, power-hungry vamp. Here she is vulnerable and suspicious, but all in good intent.

The same can’t exactly be said for Mortimer’s Kay. The seasoned veteran in the industry brings all her skills and expertise to channel her avatar’s helplessness as a working woman struggling to meet deadlines as her mother spirals. In her restrain and refusal to admit that what her mother really needs is company, Kay tries to replace warmth and compassion with professional care at old age homes – thus striking another clash in her and Sam’s already distant relationship.

It’s all a pattern though, the intergenerational dynamics mirror each other as James’s story explores how generational trauma plagues families so insidiously that only togetherness offers a prospective cure. James’s script co-written with Christian White is crisp and realistic; for the first time in a long time, White people acknowledge creepy houses with labyrinthine layers n all their evil glory and are ready to make a run for it when Edna begins evolving into a blood-hungry monster. And in the moments where Nevin’s silent stares aren’t piercing into you leaving you absolutely petrified for an attack that never comes, it is the creepy house of horror that steals the show. 

Production Designer Steven Jones-Evans captures Edna’s dementia as dark stains spreading like vines along the walls, the labyrinth probably a symbol of her mind’s downward spiral as she loses her grip on reality. Charlie Sarroff’s cinematography is compelling as shadow work can be – all made better by steady but unique shots that capture the grim reality of each generation of Edna’s family exhibiting signs of her current turmoil. What starts off as a psychological thriller soon turns into a sad tale of loneliness and the indescribable bond that ties a child to their mother. And all of this for a feature debut surely makes James a gem to watch out for. 

‘Relic’ will be available digitally or rent and on-demand from July 10.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.

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Radhika Apte reveals real reason why she got married

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Radhika Apte needs no introduction to Kollywood fans after her appearance as Superstar Rajinikanth’s wife in ‘Kabali’ directed by Pa Ranjith.  The intense actress impressed with her performance of a meek girl to a mother of a grown-up and especially her reunion scene with Rajini took the audience on an emotional ride.

Radhika is happily married to her British boyfriend Benedict Taylor who is a singer and she shuttles between Mumbai and London to balance her personal and professional life.

Radhika Apte in her most recent interaction with Vikranth Massey on social media from London has admitted that she does not believe in the institution of marriage.  When asked why she got married the talented performer replied that it is easier for married people to get a British visa and that’s why she and her man opted for it in 2012.

Radhika is currently chilling with Taylor in their London home during the lockdown and will soon start filming her next English film ‘Noor Inayat Khan’ in which she plays a spy based on a true story.

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Jacqueline Fernandez shares picture of her being in ‘happy place’

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Actor Jacqueline Fernandez is working on a secret project where she found herself in a ‘happy place’. Taking it to Instagram on Sunday, the 35-year-old actor shared a picture dressed up like a traffic police officer as she is seen laughing her heart out.

“How was everyone’s Sunday?? Fun project coming up soon! #myhappyplace,” wrote Fernandez along with a picture where she is also seen holding a coffee mug. The ‘Kick’ actor also shared a few Instagram stories of her getting ready for the upcoming project.

Recently, the actor extended gratitude to her fans after the number of Instagram followers hit the 46 million mark.

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Why an ‘active’ approach to risk modelling is key to navigating markets today

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Whether investors are aiming for a cautious approach or a riskier investment profile with the potential for higher returns, Architas’ Blended Fund range is designed to match a range of investor risk appetites. And like many asset managers, Architas predominantly uses two approaches to define asset allocation within the five risk bands used in the Blended Range – strategic and tactical.

Whilst risk model provider EValue’s quantitative approach to asset allocation takes into account the long-term performance of different asset classes and the likely future performance given current valuations, along with long-term measures of volatility and correlations with other asset classes. Yet as with most systems of its kinds, EValue focuses on the long term; it is unable to analyse short-term market movements and fluctuations. So whilst it would have seen that in Q1 2020 markets fell by a record percentage before rebounding, it will not be able to factor in the cost of the coronavirus and lockdown and its impact on markets. Similarly, it is not able to consider ongoing Brexit woes, geo-political trade wars or the outcome of the US election in 2020.

Click here for the full article and to access more about the flexibility of the Architas Blended Range by clicking on the box below.

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