After the tragic suicide of their mother, a couple of sibling is spending the weekend before Christmas in a mountain lodge with their new stepmother, whom they actively dislike (and kinda blame for their mother’s death, for reasons that are kinda spoiler). As thing between them seem to finally improve, strange events start affecting them, and the stepmother’s past as the only survivor of a cult mass suicide begins to surface…
Good atmosphere, good performances, but there’s also a reason if it felt similar to Goodnight Mommy, of course it does, it’s from the same directors, Veronica Franz and Severin Fiala, which in itself should be a glowing recommendation, but this simply isn’t as good, as – besides the slow pace – it feels more indecisive if to go the paranormal-possession or the paranoia-hallucination route, so it kinda takes time before unveiling the twist, which makes sense and brings some intense scenes, but it’s not particularly satisfying and can kinda be see coming.
Doesn’t help it’s edited in a way that i kinda expected the film to end a couple of times before the actual finale (not sure if good or kind of a cop-out), and the whole stepmother’s backstory about the religious cult doesn’t really make for original or particularly effective visuals (kinda cliched, actually), but it handles them better than regular movies about possessions and religious rituals. And still, it has its creepy and intense moments, the acting is quite good, it’s a more than decent horror thriller that it’s worth seeing, even if a better script would have been welcome.
And the – sadly – unfavorable comparison to Goodnight Mommy isn’t unfair, i fear it’s kinda unavoidable (for the previously mentioned reasons). Not exactly disappointing, but it’s a bit frustrating as you can see how it could have been better. 😦