Amulet is the story of Tomaz (Alec Secareanu), a former soldier dealing with past trauma. When he becomes homeless at the story’s start, he moves in with a lonely woman named Magda (Carla Juri) in a run-down home. Magda spends her days caring for her dying mother but there’s something peculiar about the old woman who lives on the top floor — and never leaves.
In Romola Garai’s directorial debut, the impressive score is used to continually draw audiences in. It does a great job, especially at the start. We’re hooked from the opening sequence, trying to put the pieces together of Tomaz’s life. What’s real and what’s not? Amulet‘s plot slowly builds over time, keeping us guessing from start to finish.
Stylistically, the 2020 Sundance Film Festival selection is brilliant. Production Designer Francesca Massariol’s talent is especially obvious with each passing scene. It’s visually beautiful even though Magda’s home is not. The debilitated house only adds to Garai’s creepy horror film with old doors, dangling light-fixtures and stains on the walls.
Although Amulet manages to build suspense through its entirety, it does so with very, very, very slow pacing. This is what divided our Nashville Noise staff. Traditional horror film fans may not feel fulfilled after the 99-minute movie reaches its closing credits. Fans of artsy, indie suspense movies will probably fall in love with the movie — ready to watch it again after its final scene. Although we’re divided, we do suggest renting Amulet and seeing what the R-rated movie has to offer for you and your horror palette.
Magnet Releasing’s Amulet is out July 24. By way of their virtual cinema program, the movie will be available in Nashville through the Belcourt Theatre with a “portion of the proceeds going directly back to the theater.” Find out more here and watch the film’s official trailer below.