Available on Amazon Prime through a Shudder add-on subscription (free trial period).
THE QUICK & DIRTY DEETS
- Status: Recommend
- Stars: 7/10
- Horror Category: Haunted House; Suspense
- Low on Jumps and Cheap Tricks, Low on Gore, Moderate on CGI
- High on Cinematography, Twists
It’s actually very hard for me to sit down and write a review of the Last Will & Testament of Rosamund Leigh(henceforward, LW&T). But I’ll start at the start, and with the high points, and I guess we can break it down from there.
From the start it’s very obvious that the cinematography of this movie is both beautiful and skilled. We start the movie with tons of constantly moving shots, which cause the tension to build and keep our attention engaged even when there is no one in them. In fact, there is only one actor present during the entire movie (one could snarkily posit the rest of the budget for actors was spent on CGI instead, though let us be very honest: there is no preponderance of CGI, just a smattering which is required by the plot, not dashed on to ‘enhance’ the film because ‘Hey look we can afford magic monsters!’).
The disappointment I feel lies in the plot, which begins off very promisingly and in fact continues that way for a good 3/4 of the movie. Let me reiterate: for the first 3/4 of the movie, the plot promises, promises, and promises. Sometimes it hints, sometimes it implies, sometimes it suggests. But it never gets right the fuck out there and says.
By the time I hit the end of the plot I had come up with a half dozen explanations that were more interesting and elaborate than what the plot ended up handing over, which frankly – for me at least – was a steaming half-baked, “Huh? What happened?” In addition, all this beautiful wrought, suspenseful ambiguity ends up dragging as we see the camera pan across an elaborate angle for the 40th time or what-have-you.
TW&T is really interesting for a lot of its existence. It’s original enough, it doesn’t cheapen itself with needless jumps or CGI…but these are basic requirements I seek in most horror movies. I really wish it had done more with what it had. This doesn’t seem, as PONTYPOOL was, a case of “great original idea, nothing to back it up with,” but rather…a souffle that went too long and collapsed out of neglect, or something. Clumsy metaphor…but better than a clumsy movie, right? At least it’s two hours shorter.
Til next time.