An ex-solider, living homeless in London, is offered a place to stay at a decaying house inhabited by a young woman and her dying mother. As he starts to fall for her, he cannot ignore his suspicion that something sinister is going on.
Starring: Imelda Staunton, Carla Juri, and Angeliki Papoulia
Directed and written by: Romola Garai
Coming back from war can be hard for many soldiers. They might struggle with things like keeping a job, and having a roof over their heads. It might not be their fault because they may be suffering from some kind of trauma from their time in service. It’s a nightmare at the time, and a nightmare that sometimes returns night after night in their dreams. That’s just where the horror begins in “Amulet.”
Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) is exactly that kind of ex-soldier. Life has been a struggle for him since his return, including being haunted by a dream of his time guarding a gate. He doesn’t have may places to turn for help, but seems to have found a friend in Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton), who helps find a home for him. She places him in a home with Magda (Carla Juri), who seems to have some issues of her own. She’s tasked with taking care of her dying mother living in the top floor of the house.
This sets up a situation where three people are in a house who appear to be dependent on others for help, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Tomaz tries fixing up the house, and comes across some weird things that are the first clues that something else might be going on here. He feels Magda is getting abused by her mom, and missing out on living a regular life. He kind of falls for her while trying to help her out. Unfortunately, he’s not ready for a relationship because he’s continues to be plagued by a dream of his time with a woman in the war.
The movie continues the parallel between real time, and Tomaz’s dream. In both, he gets caught up with a woman he tries to help, but things don’t turn out like he hopes. The film takes it’s time setting up the conclusion to both sides of the story. It’s a little short on horror while these stories play out, instead giving the audience a lot to wonder about these characters. Who should they really feel sorry for, and what do these women have in common? There are going to be times when everything just feels strange, and that’s because of a big twist that's waiting to be unleashed.
An amulet is supposed to give protection against evil, but that isn’t necessarily the case for Tomaz after he finds one. His time and decisions in war follow him home, and continuously haunt him. He seems to get a break from a friend, but things begin to look all too familiar with his past. Audiences will have to be patient, as “Amulet” will give them a lot to think about as things slowly play out. It gets some good performances, which are needed to bring these very unusual characters to life. With the twist that eventually reveals itself comes the true horror in the story. Horror the audience has been waiting for, and horrific endings to Tomaz’s stories. The twist isn’t bad, but might have overextended a little bit. With that, I give it 2 pools of blood.
More info about this film at: http://promotehorror.com/2020/07/21/amulet-in-theaters-and-on-demand-july-24/