Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review - The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012 - Dir. Rodrigo Gudino)

Slow burning films live or die by their endings (The House of the Devil fell down at this hurdle). So, I'm not entirely sure about this. It is a film that I need to watch again to put more thought into what it all means, because at the moment I'm feeling really thick, because I just didn't get it. Putting a slow film on late at night, at the end of the festival possibly wasn't the wisest move as sleep deprivation was starting to kick in. The ending felt as though it was good and I was just missing something important.

Leon (Aaron Poole) is an antiques collector and has just inherited a house from his mum. When he enters the house he finds all of the antiques that he has recently sold. The house is so creepy I don't know why he didn't get someone else it to clear it. But anyway, that wouldn't have been much of a film, so he stays and disturbing things start to happen...
To add to this the film is narrated by his mum (Vanessa Redgrave). Now usually narrations don't work and are really bad (Dark City is a prime example) but here it actually works quite well, giving two different perspectives on what's happening. 

One thing that I'd like to watch it for again are the tapestries. The ones at the start of the film contain little sayings that all come true. This was really compelling and I was waiting for more of this later in the film. I'm not sure whether I missed something but I can't remember any from later on in the film. Something to check out in another viewing, I think.

Beautifully shot with some gorgeous colour-grading, the camera glides around the creepy old house, showing off the religious artefacts in their full glory. Religion is a major part of the film, with the candle game being a particularly fun way to torment your children and scare them into believing in God. Other elements also enter the film including a half-decent CG creature and some suspect looking religious twins.

Lots of positive then, but I still didn't enjoy it that much. I never really cared that much about the main character (why does he go back to bed after he's had a creature stalking him and another major scare?) and the overall atmosphere didn't appeal to me. This is where the beautiful cinematography worked against the film. It all looked a bit too crisp and shiny. I prefer a bit more dirt. Still, I will watch it again and the rating may change based on my findings.

If you like this you could also try:
The Whisperer In Darkness, The Changeling.

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