From Executive Producer Dario Argento, U.K. chiller She Will seeps under the skin at a slow-burn pace that builds to a fitting climax. Director Charlotte Colbert’s feature successfully blends themes of feminism, aging, and trauma with occult and psychological horror.
Veronica Ghent (Alice Krige of Ghost Story and Sleepwalkers) is an actress who shot to stardom in her film debut as a 13-year-old but who is now in her mid-sixties and has recently undergone a double mastectomy. She heads to a touchy-feely retreat in the Scottish Highlands, thinking that only she and her young, put-upon nurse Desi (Kota Eberhardt) will be there. Instead, the place is loaded with seemingly well-off New Age types headed up by a man named Tirador (Rupert Everett). Relegated to a cabin set off from the main building, Ghent and Desi find themselves in a place where oozing mud contains ashes of women burned as witches centuries earlier — and Veronica becomes increasingly drawn to the place. An important subplot finds Ghent’s first director Hathbourne (Malcolm McDowell) publicly searching for a new ingénue to take the lead role in his remake of the film in which he presented Ghent to the world — with an all-too-familiar behind-the-scenes back story about he and the teenage Veronica.
Fans of 1960s and 1970s Eurohorror should soak up the eldritch atmosphere that Colbert — who cowrote the screenplay with Kitty Percy — and cinematographer Jamie Ramsay evoke. The performances from Ghent, Eberhart, and McDowell are all terrific, with Ghent and Eberhartt displaying superb chemistry together as their relationship changes throughout the film. The horror on display is mostly of the persistently gloomy and eerie kind rather than relying on shocks or gore, and this fits the film marvelously. Colbert has crafted a unique, artistic horror film that balances message and dread skillfully.
IFC Midnight presents She Will in select theaters and On Demand from July 15, 2022.
Vertigo Releasing presents She Will in UK cinemas on 22nd July 2022.