I have 498 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Lovely Molly (2011)
What’s it rated? Rated R for a plethora of nudity, unvarnished insanity and for being chock full of biting.
Did people make it? Written by Eduardo Sanchez and Jamie Nash. Directed by Eduardo Sanchez. Acted by Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis and Alexandra Holden.
What’s it like in one sentence? It’s one of those “Is There Something Evil Or Are They Just Crazy” movies.
Why did you watch it? It had a cool poster (pictured above) and Eduardo Sanchez made one of my favorite horror movies of the last decade with Altered. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and he co-directed The Blair Witch Project which I saw opening day before all the hype and it scared my socks on their ass.
What’s it about in one paragraph? Molly and Tim are newlyweds who don’t have very much money, so they decide to move out to Molly’s deceased parents house in the country. The problem is that Molly has some severe unfinished business with her dead father, and Tim is a truck driver gone for days at a time. Molly also has too many hours in the day to fill with nothing but her monotonous job and her terrifying memories of the past. Add to this stew the fact that Molly has an addiction to heroin she has only recently kicked and we have a cocktail of paranoia, isolation and madness. So now we have a stew and a cocktail. Anyone else wanna get drunk and eat something?
Play or remove from my queue? I would play it, although it’s truly going to depend on what you’re looking for with this film. The cover, while pretty cool, is very misleading, as this is not that kind of horror film. Lovely Molly is much more of a psychological degradation film than a demon or monster affair. If you come in expecting typical jump scares and a steady diet of horror movie tropes, then you’ll be bored and disappointed and saying that the film isn’t “scary”, when in fact it’s after completely different kinds of scares.
This is Molly’s film and barely a frame of the picture is without her. Newcomer Gretchen Lodge is a very pretty girl in that sexy feminine tomboy sort of way, but gives a performance so fearless and devoid of vanity, you completely forget how beautiful she was at the start of the picture. In a higher profile movie, this would be an awards caliber performance, since it’s filled with some very showy moments for Lodge, which she takes advantage of without going overboard. She should have a massive career after this if all is right in the world.
Johnny Lewis plays her husband Tim and I have a feeling some of the attention the film will get is due to him. Lewis, previously famous for playing Half-Sack on Sons of Anarchy, recently made a national stir when he allegedly bludgeoned Catherine Davis to death and jumped off the roof of her boarding house in which he was staying. It’s a horribly tragic end to the seemingly saintly woman (whom actor Taylor Negron wrote an amazing piece about), but also to Lewis, who truly excelled at playing troubled, gentle souls. The fact that his character in Lovely Molly is so desperate to keep his wife off heroin is depressingly ironic and will make for some horrible internet jokes, I’m sure. I don’t know the story of what happened, but I’ve known some addicts in my day and Lewis seemed like one through and through. His performance here reminds me of Nick Stahl’s in Carnivale quite a bit and it’s well played, if brief. I’m sorry Lewis is gone (although I’m horrified at the loss of Catherine Davis, who really sounded like a national treasure) and I’m sorry he took so much loveliness from the world with his exit, but I hope he has at least found some silence for his crowded mind.
Lovely Molly follows Molly’s descent into madness, slowly, methodically and one horrible event at a time. It’s quite hard to watch at times and impossible to look away from at others. I’m not sure if the film adds anything new to the mental illness\drug addiction sub-genre of horror films, but Sanchez is an expert at ratcheting up the tension to unbearable levels. It’s mostly a must-see for the strength of Gretchen Lodge’s performance and the intensity of the tone Sanchez creates, but the script doesn’t necessarily give you much to chew on by the time the incredibly dour closing credits roll.
Do you have a favorite line? When Molly finds herself hearing her dead father’s voice sing-songily chant “Lovely Molly”, I found myself hearing my fear boner cry.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? Since I don’t have a fun fact for this space, I figured this would be the time for me to apologize for the extended hiatus. I’m helping run an art-house theater here in Oregon and I just haven’t had much time lately. I want to thank Michael Rabattino for covering the column as much as he did and I want to thank any and all of you awesome chewers who continue to read and comment on the column. You guys are why I do this.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? The Innkeepers (I loved 90% of the film, but felt like the ending was a bit of a wet fart), The Moth Diaries (in my queue and looking forward to it), Apartment 143 (about 30 minutes in and loving it), Uninhabited (looks awful) and Playback (starting it soon).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? Clean, Shaven is the first thing that pops to mind.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 2.9
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 3.2
Can you link to the movie? Sure, why not?
Any last thoughts? My last thought is for everyone on the East Coast, Atlantic City in particular, to be safe today.
Did you watch anything else this week? Saw Cloud Atlas last night and it was beautiful and transformative and everything in between. Also got caught up on Supernatural, Fringe, Parks and Rec, The Office, Vampire Diaries and American Horror Story. Good shows all.
Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Chillerama? I haven’t seen it, but after Michael’s review, I’m sure as shit going to.
Next Week? Your call, Chewers. More horror?