Ol’ Edna (Robyn Nevin) mafes like a banana and splits, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) arrive at her remote rural home and begin piecing together that Edna’s dementia has increased a thousandfold.
Edna soon reappears, but has no idea of where she has been (or isn’t allowed to say) which bothers Kay six ways to Sunday, even though Sam is over the moon to have her nana back safe and sound. Of course this is a fright flick, and Edna soon becomes all fired up which leads Kay and Sam to believe there may be a strange presence behind her actions (and the strange sounds and dreams they experience just add fuel to that fire)!
Just to get the elephant in the room out of the way; Relic does that thing I can’t stand; namely leaving us to guess if what is happening is supernatural in origin, or the results of Edna’s condition (until it kinda/sorta makes up it’s mind in the finale). Please just stop… this is a horror film; just embrace it.
That out of the way, Relic is a very effective slow-burn thriller that utilizes it’s one main location, Edna’s house, to great effect, as it’s mold covered walls, disarray, and over all claustrophobic vibe give the setting a truly palpable malevolence.
Also top-shelf are the performances on display here. Our flawed heroines are believable and engaging, and that leads to us actually giving a damn about there possibly preternatural plight. Additionally there is some impressive effects on display here, used sparingly as they are.
As for special features on this Blu-ray release from IFC… well they must have wandered off with ol’ Edna because the film’s trailer is all we get.
When all is said and done, Relic is an effective, slow-burn thriller with great atmosphere, and a solid cast.