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'Lovely Molly'

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Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Lovely Molly

Festival Favorites
D: Eduardo Sanchez; with Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden

The Blair Witch Project shadows Eduardo Sanchez's career, but with a little distance, it now seems like the first step that lead to this blue-collar creeper. Newlywed Molly (Lodge) is in trouble: The film opens with her holding a butcher knife to her own neck, telling a video camera, "It's not my fault." It's clear that she's a victim of something, but Sanchez skillfully obscures whether family secrets or eldritch forces are to blame. As with Amy Smart in Sanchez's underrated 2008 Chinese ghost story Seventh Moon, the movie thrives on Lodge's strange, textured, and brittle performance. It's also right to talk about Blair Witch here as Sanchez has evolved its strongest parts: His sparing use of Molly's POV footage is as much a nod to his breakthrough creep show as the rattling soundtrack provided by Chicago post-rock giants Tortoise. Yet its real inheritance is a sense of powerlessness before the supernatural.


Thursday, March 15, 4:45pm, Alamo Lamar

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