Lovely Molly Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 12, 2012
I liked it, Mysteriously Twisted, Insane and kinky.
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ October 9, 2012
*** out of ****

The secret to enjoying at least 75% of the smaller, independent horror films released today lies in the ability to suspend disbelief and forgive a lack of true solution. I feel that's what makes a lot of films - both horror and not - fascinating in the sense that they don't provide us with all the answers and essentially force us to think for ourselves (gasp). Is it such a crime that a filmmaker aside from David Lynch (who's famous for doing this) to ask us to play detective for a few hours? I don't think so. If you've been following Eduardo Sanchez since the beginning, you'll know that he's no newbie to ambiguous horror that is open to a number of different interpretations. "Lovely Molly" keeps the tradition going with plenty of pizazz and intrigue. I'll admit that it's more of a while-it-lasts type experience than a film that delivers substantial payoff, but it hits you and it hits you hard.

The titular Molly (Gretchen Lodge) is a newlywed who is just settling down in her parent's house, the same house where she grew up as a kid, with her husband Tim (Johnny Lewis). Molly is a recovering drug addict with a sister named Hannah (Alexandra Holden) who also lives nearby. The film begins with the triggering of a downstairs security alarm in the middle of the night that could not have possibly been triggered, since Tim is so sure he locked it before the couple went to bed. By day, he's not around and neither is Molly since she has found work at a local superstore (with Hannah). Sometimes he must go off on business for a few days, leaving Molly all alone. Business unfortunately lands on Molly's birthday, and beyond.

Molly begins having strange experiences around the house. Child-like voices are heard coming from the closet, unseen forces are communicating directly with her, and she's starting to pick up her old habits (drug abuse) yet again. When not high on the drugs, Molly is almost psycho-sexual and obsessive. Her behavior bothers Tim, provoking him to call in the local priest (Field Blauvelt), and we all know how reliable he will be. It seems that Molly might be possessed by something. Footage taken from her handheld video camera indicates that the house might have a dark past hidden somewhere in the cellar, although nothing is said for sure. This is another one of those downwards spiral horror films; although by now you should be aware of what I sucker I am for those.

Sanchez doesn't bring anything particularly "new" to the multiple genres he's tackling; we've seen this all before and indeed it's been done both better and worse. But once again, I succumb to the fact that he's able to successfully do so many things at once. It proves that he possesses (no pun intended) a natural talent for merging drama with horror. While it's not as much an emotional knock-out as it is an exhausting genre exercise; "Lovely Molly" still packs more of a sucker punch to the gut than most horror films I've seen of recent. Some scenes, like one involving Molly discovering drugs and the tools that one would use to utilize them hidden inside a teddy bear from her childhood in the attic, are absolutely ominous. I might like it even more than I did Sanchez's "Altered", which I gave the same rating. They exist on somewhat different grounds but share similar traits nonetheless.

But "Lovely Molly" harkens back to the film that made Sanchez a filmmaker to watch; "The Blair Witch Project". That's a film that I love no matter what the naysayers might say, and while I feel it will always be his baby, "Lovely Molly" utilizes similar slow-rising tension with effective bursts of absolutely animalistic terror. To tell the truth, I thought this movie was disturbing. Not just in what it shows, but what it implies and expects us to create within our minds. I dug the elaborate visual style, the spooky sound design, the themes (I like the aspect of the men who surround Molly in life), and the overall mood of the picture. I believe it will go on to be one of this year's most prized genre possessions, since there don't seem to be THAT many other worthy contenders. This is thoughtful, entertaining genre filmmaking. It's not the best for its kind, and again I will say that it's going to upset those who want straight endings and answers; although I'd rather something choose to be ambiguous and engaging rather than conventional. "Lovely Molly" says no to the easy way out; which is precisely why it lingers for so long afterwards and is more experience than narrative.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2012
I didn't had any expectations for this one thanks to the amount of bad press this has been having but I've always followed Eduardo Sanchez movies with interest. Blair Witch was super great (I haven't seen it since it hit the theatres dunno if it aged well) and Altered was a fun little alien invasion gory comedy.

Lovely Molly has something of Blair Witch going on with the uncertainty of what's going to happen next and why. Surely, we know right from the start that the main character is a troubled one but the director skillfully blends many genres to make the viewer unconfortable thanks to that uneasiness it creates right from the start. Is it a haunting? A psychological thriller? A possession? An indie character study? It doesn't matter for it pays in visceral effect without being explicit.

The themes it approaches on the "men" surrounding Moly's life is smart and shares something similiar like last year's also fantastic Martha Marcy May Marlene.
It's nothing you haven't seen before on the genres I mentioned early on but the approach is spot on.

Add a great, convincing and tough performance by the lead, smart cinematography that like the genres it approaches, uses different techniques to make it work, a haunting dronish soundtrack by Tortoise, smart sound design and this is a little success that unfortunently went unnoticed.

Don't expect easy answers of a "resolution", just experience it and it might affect you like it did to me.
½ September 20, 2014
A supernatural horror story that is shot for a good part on a handheld camcorder, which I feel didn't add anything to the story or the mood trying to be established. The acting is okay. Not much tension was built - creaking noises don't frighten me or give me creepy feelings. No scares or frights or creepiness. Gretchen Lodge does get naked - a lot. Not quite good enough to recommend.
½ September 16, 2012
A blend of found-footage and traditional filmmaking, Lovely Molly is a psycho-drama with horror overtones that builds its tension and weirdness mostly through character development. An entertaining and twisted little film, Lovely Molly doesn't quite deliver on its aspirations, but it manages to be a thoroughly enjoyable little horror film nonetheless.
October 15, 2012
Molly (Gretchen Lodge) and her new husband Tim (Johnny Lewis) have moved into Molly's childhood home, and almost immediately strange occurrences begin to occur, and Molly fears that the ghost of her abusive dead father is haunting her, while Tim is worried that Molly has gone back to her old drugged out ways.

As she begins to show signs of changing, everyone around her becomes worried about her and don't know how to help her. Meanwhile, she slowly becomes one with the evil that lives inside the house.

When the previews came out for this film, it said this was a revolutionary journey into a new brand of horror, with amazing performances and an ending that will leave you breathless. As it is with these low budget horror flicks, the previews were highly misleading. Think "Paranormal Activity" without the shaky cam and that's "Lovely Molly."

The acting was slightly better than normal, and the setting was eerie overall, but other than that there wasn't much to be afraid of.

On a side note, it was weird watching Johnny Lewis in this film, especially after his real life death and supposed murder of his elderly landlord before he committed suicide. Seeing him in this film gave a dark insight into his possible decent into true evil.
½ October 4, 2012
Vaguely watchable ghost flick in which the ghost is that of an abusive parent. Or so we're led to believe, until we see a very badly-done special effect at the film's lackluster climax. Gretchen Lodge delivers a good performance, but she's the highest point in this forgettable flick. There doesn't seem to be much internal coherence; things seem to happen for no reason and with no real significance in terms of the plot. Little explanation is offered for most of what's seen on screen. Someone thought it was spooky, it seems, so in it went. Not the worst thing in the genre, but not very good, either.
½ May 3, 2012
This movie was just poorly made. Incredible acting from the lead actress but not scary.. ..see The Pact instead for classic modern horror.
August 30, 2012
A quiet psychological/supernatural film dealing with the horrors of one's past and mental illness. Ambiguous, but in a good way. Much is left implied and not fully explained. These are strengths in a film such as this. It is a film about a woman personally haunted (possibly literally and/or figuratively) by her past. Quite a good, creepy film. Worth a look. [Note: Don't be put off by the POV cam at the beginning. This is NOT a found-footage film, though POV cam is used occasionally and effectively.]
½ August 28, 2012
not a bad movie, not the greatest! This movie is similar to other movie that have been better than this!
August 20, 2012
Ive been looking forward to this since I heard about it at tiff and sxsw, and the director did the blair witch project, my favorite horror film, this film combines the found footage style of blair witch and traditional style, this is a pretty disturbing film, dealing with emotional and physical trauma and abuse, and not knowing whether what is afflicting molly is real or in her head, regardless it's still painful and tough to watch, if youre looking for a dark depressing trip, lovely mollys the girl for you
May 17, 2012

I love when movies make you think, and this movie makes you think a lot. The acting was very well done by Gretchen Lodge. There were a few scares..the film is more based on tension then actually scares. I love found footage movies and the Blair Witch was an amazing movie. This does not even come close to the Blair Witch but it was still a freaking wierd, messed up, psychological thriller that you won't forget.
April 9, 2015
confusing, the movie couldn't explain itself. I had to go online to read information on the movie to find out what was going on. If you have to do that then something is lost in translation!
March 7, 2015
This film proves why critics aren't always right. Unnerving, unsettling and a proper good horror movie
½ September 23, 2014
It's been done before, but I like the atmosphere. A lot.
February 22, 2014
A creepy and moody horror movie. Lovely Molly lacks of a true engaging story, but the direction and the sound department makes it a tense experience. Weird little movie.
½ December 19, 2013
wasted 1hr 39mins waiting for something exciting to happen
½ November 9, 2013
exploring the manifestations of a repressed past rather than the most traditional ghost exposition, Lovely Molly succeeds in numerous ways. Although often reviewed as a haunted house horror film, lovely molly is more a depiction of one woman's struggle to contain the intensity of memories that begin to plague her surrounding her past life. The way in which this past manifests itself in physical ways is really frightening, and suspense is established early in the film stringing the audience along yet keeping them in the dark about the centre plot line. Gretchen Lodge portrays the tortured Molly beautifully, mastering every single angle of the character's fragmented personality. The film is unsettling in the sense that it reflects on real issues that are commonly heard about in a family dynamic such as sexual and physical abuse, but the film possesses enough otherworldly attributes to establish a horror-film vibe. What the film does extremely well is limits the audience exposure to violence in the first hour of the film which results in real terror and shock when the violence does go down, and makes the violence more of a crucial shifting point in the film instead of gore for the sake of gore, which is a rare quality in such a genre film.The rest of the cast are talented and perform their characters to a T. The film's atmospherics and sound effects are unnerving and at times cringe-inducing. Lovely Molly's study of isolation and the psychological trauma that returns through memory is far more haunting than any ghost, yet the film falters and loses some of it's impact due to its utter ambiguity. The film although laced with a tension filled build up doesn't possess enough resolutions to the subplots it is riddled with, which, although it leaves the film open to interpretation and conversation, may leave an audience confused or unsatisfied with the ending of such a bizarrely plotted film. The film is strong enough to stand as a shining renewal of Director Eduardo Sanchez's artistic abilities, yet this will not intrigue everyone who has a sit down with Molly with expectations of blair witch horror
½ October 16, 2013
To my surprise, I really liked it. It builds nicely to the end, which is so "wtf?" inducing in the best way possible.
September 25, 2013
One sentence summary: Even worse than American Mary.

Molly and new husband Tim move into an older home from her side of the family. Tim is a truck driver who is away a lot on work.
First up, their security system gets tripped and they cannot explain to the sheriff what did it. They get to know the sheriff, who remembers when Molly's father died in the house.
Molly starts hearing voices on Tim's next trip, the day after her birthday. Then the bumps in the night, the sobs Molly hears when she is alone at night, and lights turned on but not my Molly.
Great, handheld camera footage at night with light that is about 5% sufficient. I had thought that this was at least not Blair Witch level bovine scatology.
When Tim returns, Molly is alone naked in one of their bedrooms, staring at the wall. Tim soon segues to 'do you want to see a doctor?' and 'are you using again?' So, is the film psychological drama (denies the supernatural, and she's insane) or horror (embraces the supernatural, it's not just Molly) ?
Christian rock concert, followed by church. Her sister asks where she's been, as in not at work. The next time Tim is gone, Molly gets out her teddy bear, and opens up a photo album that clearly makes her sad. The bear is where she keeps her stash. She gets more reclusive at work, asking to work where no one will see her. She starts hearing voices at work. Some CCTV footage her boss shows her that something is seriously wrong. She goes off on her boss, claiming things happened that are not in the footage.
Looks like drug-induced hallucinations with unresolved underlying psychological problems. I'm still waiting for the horror part of the movie, 49 minutes in.
She consults with her pastor while wearing a black negligee. Great. The seduction fails. Well, the first time. She seeks help from her sister.
Tim returns to the house being filled with a horrible smell. He finds Molly's drug paraphernalia in open sight.
At 59 minutes in, Tim hears Molly making a video. She introduces Tim to her father, who's dead. Oh, goodness. Molly insists that she is not crazy. Next stop, medical tests, to be followed by psychiatric tests if the sleeping aids do not do the job.
Molly kisses Tim, then bites him badly, causing a great deal of bleeding.
Things go downhill from there. No signs of the supernatural, just one psychotic drug addict.


Cinematography: 4/10 Poor. The interior shots and night shots tend to look bad. Focus, camera jump, panning that is too rapid. Tungsten yellow prevalent. Segments of night filming from low end hand held camera. Lots of footage where there is not enough light to capture enough information to prevent pixelation at the user end.

Sound: 8/10 Actors seem adequately miked. Creaky doors. Irritating incidental music.

Acting: 0/10 Terrible. I did not believe a single player.

Screenplay: 2/10 Merely poor as a psychological drama where the protagonist is crushed instead of defeating the trauma. This is a complete bust as horror.
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