Review by Dan Skip Allen
Films about exorcisms or demon positions aren't anything new, but they can be pretty inconsistent in quality. In the right hands, this can be a great subgenre of horror. Gabriel Bier Gislasonbut's Attachment wasn't to the standard of others films in this genre. It left me with a lot to be desired.
Maja (Josephine Park) is a woman who dresses up as an elf and goes to libraries and schools and reads to children. She is also an established author of a children's book. When she has an encounter on the way to one of her engagements with another woman Leah (Ellie Kendrick), it's love at first sight. The two women visit Leah's mother, Chana (Sofie Gabrol), in London, and things get a little weird. With the help of a local Jewish bookstore owner, Lev (David Dancik), Sofie hopes to come to the bottom of what's going on with her girlfriend.
Like many horror movies, Attachment relies on little things that make the film very suspenseful and cause some sort of scare. One of the main characters has seizures and is starting to act very oddly with body movements that aren't the ordinary way the body should move. The family and friends of the character try to do what they can to help her, but it's not a normal situation for anybody to be in. Some of the behavior is starting to become very dangerous for the character.
Part of what makes the main character strange is she starts transforming into something akin to a beast within a person, like a demon or something is taking her over. The Jewish religion calls it a Dybbuk, where a demonic entity is attached to a host. In many films, there have been exorcisms to rid demons or entities from characters, whether the stories are based on truth or not. The film sets this all up very nicely. There is even makeup to go along with the character that is being taken over.
These actors do a very good job playing these characters. It's a Danish film, so some of the dialogue is in Dutch subtitles, but other parts are spoken in English because part of the film takes place in London. Josephine Park is very emotional, and her eyes are very expressive. They show a lot of what she's going through as a character. The others are very in their roles as well — especially Ellie Kendrick. The film has a good cast of solid character actors and newer actors alike.
Movies dealing with this type of subject matter can be exciting and very interesting, but they also can be a bit monotonous. There aren't many places they can go with these stories. They have to have some conclusion, which this one does, but it's not very satisfying. As a viewer watching this, I was disappointed by how it ended. The script let what could have been a very good film down. There should have been a better way to end this than the way it did end.
Attachment was a good idea and, most of the time, a good movie. It just had a letdown of an ending that didn't solve the problem the film was trying to deal with. The suspense and creepy feel of the film had me interested until the end, which was a letdown. The cast's performances were good, especially the two leads, Josephine Park and Ellie Kendrick. They were exceptional in their roles. The setup was very good but seemed to be a bit slow-paced, but once the story got along, it was good, except for the ending. I wished this had a better payoff.
Attachment streams on Shudder beginning February 9.
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