Relic

Critics Consensus

Relic ratchets up its slowly building tension in an expertly crafted atmosphere of dread, adding up to an outstanding feature debut for director/co-writer Natalie Erika James.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 154

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 357

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Movie Info

When Edna, the elderly and widowed matriarch of the family, goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam travel to their remote family home to find her. Soon after her return, they start to discover a sinister presence haunting the house and taking control of Edna.

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Critic Reviews for Relic

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (13)

Audience Reviews for Relic

  • Jul 17, 2020
    When first hearing about this movie, the premise intrigued me and upon viewing the trailer, I was absolutely ready to dive into this movie. While it's not a bad movie by any means, Relic is the definition of a film that you shouldn't judge by its cover. It's mentioned as both a drama and a horror on many of the entertainment websites and although there are some eerie scenes and a few chills to be had, this is first and foremost, a psychological drama from beginning to end. This was actually jarring to me as it really does seem like a pretty scary film on its surface. If you're looking for a film to simply scare the hell out of you, this isn't that, but some viewers may find the dramatic aspect to be quite fulfilling.  Relic begins with a mother and daughter living in the grandmother's house, as they search for her whereabouts. After she mysteriously and randomly shows up back home, she doesn't seem right. Dementia has clearly overtaken her in a severe way and it's not only affecting her daughter and granddaughter but the house they are in may just be expressing the side effects of that dementia to them all, creating visions and dreams that may or may not actually be there. I could see what they were going for here and the movie ends on a note that felt very strange, yet earned at the same time, but I walked away wishing that more had been done with the premise overall. Writer/director Natalie Erika James has crafted a very well-rounded story with a lot of character development. The thing that impressed me the most was that I was able to retrieve a lot of that character development, simply due to the images being shown on-screen. Her writing abilities here worked wonders for the story itself, but I truly don't think the tone of the movie matched the premise all that well. I think how everything was lit just felt like a darker and scarier movie than what was given to audiences. That was a creative decision by the filmmakers, clearly, but it felt off to me.  Bella Heathcote as Sam and Robyn Nevin as Edna are both terrific in their respective roles, but Emily Mortimer, who's usually always great, may have given the best performance I've seen from her yet. Her calm, concerned mood throughout the entire film never once waivered. I was completely enthralled by her performance, even though she probably could've been given more to do. This film feels like a much larger story wants to break through the cracks of this well-done drama. I just kept wondering what the point of it all was, and even though there is a point by the end, I'm not sure I cared enough by the time the film finally arrived there. Overall, Relic is a movie that's hard to rip apart, because all the right pieces are there and movie, narratively, is quite effective. Sadly, the horror aspect was a huge failure for me and the tone of the movie in comparison with what was actually going on was a little too dark to latch onto. The cast is very solid, as well as the direction and screenwriting, but nothing about this movie felt special enough to praise more than that. This is a very watchable movie that feels its length at even 90-minutes, but if you're up for some psychological sequences and a solid little story, this one may be for you. Personally, I walked away thinking Relic was okay as a whole.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2020
    An Australian drama-horror that explores physical and mental decline in old age, which seems to be authored by David Cronenberg. Its oppressive and unsettling atmosphere compensates its topics and especially the hurting dissonance between what is allegorical and what is real.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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