Sunday, October 27, 2013
Horror Challenge #75: "The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh"
I like that it's open to more than one interpretation. That makes it worth talking about. It reminds me a lot of two other horror movies I've watched in past challenges, "The Possession of David O'Rielly" and "The Skeptic," because those had endings that were open to interpretation as well, and that made watching them more interesting for me. But anyway, the house is scary and foreboding to me, which makes the movie scary and foreboding, but if you don't think the house is scary, you might not like the movie, because a lot of the scares rely on your feelings of isolation and devastation in relation to the creepy, oppressive house, which doesn't work if you don't find it creepy or oppressive.
This movie is about a woman who has died, and her son was estranged, and he returns to her home after her death to settle her affairs, only to discover that there's a presence in the house with him. Already I feel like I'm lying to you, because this is one of those movies where some of what I said MIGHT NOT be true if you favor one interpretation of the movie over another. The thing is, whatever your interpretation, the movie leaves a lot of the heavy lifting to actor Aaron Poole, because he's really the only character we see, and so if we don't care about him and don't get emotionally involved with his journey, we're going to find the movie boring. Most of the movie is literally footage of him wandering around the house looking spooked and kind of pensive.
It worked for me, because I cared about what he was going through, but I can definitely see where some people would find it boring. He can't really decide what to feel about his mother's death, because they weren't close and she was emotionally and verbally abusive to him, and this left him pretty scarred. I can identify with that, too. Ultimately, this emotional roller coaster is where all the scares of the movie rest, and if you don't feel connected to him, you probably won't like the movie. I kept going back and forth, but I think I ended up liking the movie and feeling compelled by what happened. It's not a thrill-a-minute type movie, but it's got its own brand of emotional devastation, which is scary in its own way.