films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



2020 / 99m - UK
Amulet poster

A brave attempt to marry social drama with religious body horror. It's a pretty unique combination, but not an easy one to pull off and Garai really struggles to find the right balance. The first half of the film is a little too slow and dreary, whereas the second half suddenly jumps into the horror head-on.

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Tomaz is an immigrant in London who roams the streets. A friendly nun looks after him and knows a place where he can crash. She takes him to Magda, a woman who lives alone with her sick mother. Tomaz isn't to keen on moving in with her, but his situation doesn't leave him much choice, and so he accepts the offer.

Garai has trouble with setting the right tone. The music is quite special and leading, but it's not exactly thrilling. The effects are nothing less than impressive, but the cinematography leans too heavily on social drama aesthetics (like watching a Dardennes film), which again takes away from the atmosphere. In the end it feels like an intriguing film, but the potential remains unfulfilled.