Title: She Will
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Charlotte Colbert
Starring: Alice Kridge, Malcolm McDowell, Kota Eberhardt
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
What It Is: An older film actress named Veronica Ghent (Kridge) travels with her new caretaker Desi (Eberhardt) to a retreat in the Scottish countryside. Veronica suffers from chronic pain and numerous nightmares, rooted from her past of exploitation and abuse as a young girl. As the pair wait out their time at the retreat, Veronica’s nightmares become stronger and more lucid, leading us to believe they’re more than just dreams, and there’s more to Veronica’s talents than we realize.
What We Think: Stylish and moody, this witchy movie combines classic influences of 70s psychological female-driven horror with contemporary camerawork and ideals from the perspective of storytellers that actually come from the female perspective. It’s more understated, carrying the same sort of heavy heart as your Repulsion or sapphic personality as Suspiria, with more focus on the lead performance by the gorgeous and elegant Alice Kridge (who was also in another one of my favorites, playing the nefarious Christabella in Silent Hill). The film also puts a lot of visual emphasis on imagery provided by the character Veronica’s visions, exhibiting abstractions that indicate sensitivities like stress, erosion, evolution, fluidity and flashbacks of her own past that unravels her own decades-old journey as her gifts seem to be bearing themselves in the midst of a powerful notion. While the scenes of flashing imagery tend to dominate quite a few of the scenes and tend to get old, the feeling of Veronica’s longtime frustration and pain make the payoff worth enough to watch the movie. The writing and dialogue is more stripped down, but the chemistry between the characters, whether familial and comforting or devastating and toxic, are made entirely clear and make the film that much more interesting to watch. Two scenes in particular prove the power of this film’s emotional duality to me, very successfully. This film is much less of a ‘horror,’ as marketers may try to insinuate, but is based much more in existentialism to what is a psychological drama, asking the question, “What is right?” in the face of traumas new and old, while adding a beautifully applied dark, fantastical layer that adds some catharsis.
Our Grade: B-, Pulled forward by polished performances by its cast of legends and newcomers, She Will is a surprising tale about revenge, but also strength in connections. While it is a slow-burner and overall isn’t the most eventful nor convincing film of its type, it still was a smooth and well-made watch that I hope propels its cast and filmmakers to bigger and wilder projects. It’s an enjoyable showcase of cool cinematography, beautiful settings, and character work.