I love to talk movies with people worldwide, especially to hear their opinions and feelings about a movie we discuss. It can be a big budget Hollywood film, or an independent film, it does not really matter. What matters is we enjoy our conversations, and we respect that different people have their own opinion about the film we discuss. But i remember one time when i had a discussion online about movies, and i mentioned a film called Vera Drake. None of the people i talked to have seen this film, and for me that was quite shocking to hear. This film is directed by legendary English director Mike Leigh, who have made a lot of really good films in his career. Vera Drake is one of the films i especially remember from his catalogue, because this is a very powerful drama film. This film tells the story of Vera Drake ( brillaint performance from actress Imelda Staunton ), a devoted mother who looks after her family, her elderly mother and her sick neighbor. But she keeps a secret, and that is that she is providing young women abortions. Vera Drake is a a film that clearly shows you that in a society with powerty, you may take chances that could destroy your life. You might make a decision, even if you know this is not legal or healthy, risking peoples lives. Actress Imelda Staunton really goes all in for her character Vera Drake, delivering a very strong portrait of a woman, who clearly feel the need to help young women who are not ready to become mothers. The poverty locations are very effective, capturing the feeling of the year 1950, that we really are in homes of people who are struggling. I think this film also give a lot of interesting subjects to discuss surrounding Vera Drake, is she really doing the right thing, or should she be locked up? If you have not seen Vera Drake, you should pick it up on DVD. Actress Imelda Staunton have continued working hard, and have been in many films since Vera Drake. I came across a film that i have not seen with her, a horror film called Amulet, that was released in October here in Sweden on DVD and Blu Ray last year. Being a big fan of Imelda, of couse i had to see this film. Is this a horror film that is actually suprisingly good, or should you simply skip this film ?
Tomaz ( Alec Secareanu ) is guarding an outpost in the woods. One day he finds an amulet in the ground, that seems to be very old. Since he have no idea where it is from, he keeps it. While sitting at the outpost, an unkown woman tries to cross the outpost. She seems to be in need of help, and Tomaz takes her to his residence in the forest. She suddenly decide to leave after a while, while Tomaz is worried that she might not be safe. To survive and be able to get food, Tomaz travel to London to work extra as a day laborer worker, sleeping in the building with other refugees. When the building is set on fire, Tomaz is now homeless and without a job. He collapses in an alley way, and is discovered by Sister Claire ( Imelda Staunton ). She takes care of him after he comes out from a hospital, and have an idea how he can find a new home, if he could help a woman named Magda ( Carla Juri ) to fix her house. Magda is taking care of her sick mother, so she have no time for anything else. Tomaz accepts the offer, but he will soon find out that something is quite not right in this house.
If there is one thing that i appreciate about independent horror films, is seeing a film that offers something different from the ordinary typical horror release, and this is exactly what Amulet does. This film feels like an artistic horror film, in the sense that this film is not the typical release you will find on the DVD or Blu Ray shelves. If you can accept artistic horror, that have something more deep to say than the usual horror release, i do feel that Amulet have an interesting story hidden in the darkness. One thing i have to mention that this film also does, is give us two different stories, that eventually cross together, and you will have to think for yourself what you believe is the answer. You might think you have figured out the plot along the way, but there is a clever twist towards the end that changes everything you thought you knew would happen. Let´s get into the characters for a while. The main character known as Tomaz ( played by actor Alex Secareanu ( who some of you might remember from the very powerful drama film God´s Own Country ), is struggling as a homeless man, and he is a former soldier. You can tell that he is still suffering from the horrors of war, and actor Alex manage to capture that fear in some scenes. Actress Carla Juri ( who i especially enjoyed in the 2013 drama film Wetlands, or original title Feuchtgebiete ) gives a solid performance as the character Magda, an odd woman who never really do anything, except take care of her mother, who Tomaz later will feel a connection to. Best acting performance in this film is without a doubt from legendary actress Imelda Staunton as Sister Claire. I wish we could have seen more of her in this film, because the scenes she is seen in, feels more powerful than the other acting performances. Amulet takes a while to get into, since this film does not rush anything. If you can accept that, then i will say that the last 30 minutes is where the film gets really interesting, with some brutal gory practical effects. Director Romola Garai definetely have something different to offer with Amulet, and she have made a professional looking film. If you are just looking for a jump scare horror film, then this is not the film you should see. Amulet is a much more intelligent horror film than that, and actually have a much deeper meaning than the usual horror release. Definetely worth checking out if you are a fan of artistic horror.