films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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2022 / 85m - UK
Mandrake poster

A decent but somewhat unadventurous folk horror. I've seen quite a few of these over the past years, enough to make sure random witchcraft imagery and pagan symbols alone don't quite cut it anymore. Director Lynne Davison makes a decent effort, but the direction simply wasn't strong enough.

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When Mary Laidlaw is released from prison, the town she lives in isn't too happy to see her return. She killed her husband years ago in peculiar circumstances, and people have built witch lore around her persona. The day after her return two children disappear in the moors nearby, which further fuels the rumors.

The build-up is nice enough, but when push comes to shove, the horror elements simply aren't dark and/or unsettling enough. Things remain a little too down-the-earth, and while things never become too dull or boring, the film itself just isn't all that memorable. Decent horror filler in other words.