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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. John R. Leonetti

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

From the director of ANNABELLE comes another reason to fear children's associations as this time John R. Leonetti sets to make the simple lullaby the emphasis of pure evil this time round.

A new mother (Oona Chaplin) discovers a lullaby in an ancient book and soon regards the song as a blessing, but her world transforms into a nightmare when the lullaby brings forth the ancient demon Lilith.

With one of the most harrowing opening scenes in recent horror cinema, it's apparent that there's no safety word for parents as Leonetti sets to take us on a trip that is frankly any new parent's worst nightmare. A mothers quest to come to terms with motherhood is only hammered by the onslaught of haunting visions and a tug of war between herself and hell to retain her new-born child. While some of the manifestations are horrific, the film is as much a story of coming to terms with parenthood as it is about actually being a parent.

It's an interesting take that frays away from the perfect family or even more familiar, the family with a child coming of age. This time around the rose tinted glasses of parenthood are ripped off and Lilith's fruition to steal their child is as much a metaphor as it is real and that's where LULLABY stands above the crowd. The subject of new-born's has been one of repetition, especially in mainstream cinema and yet there's a safe zone that the child itself is never really at any harm yet here there are no holds barred as the child is as much possessed as it is in danger creating some of the most stomach churning scares in recent cinema.

Accompanied by a superb score from the maestro Joseph Bishara, the film's mainstream familiarities (overuse of CGI, clean camera work, Hollywood 101 script writing) can be overlooked for an interesting and original storyline and a reminder that there is still some life left in studio horror. With echoes of OCULUS, MIRROR, INSIDIOUS and Leonetti's own ANNABELLE, it's easy to pinpoint LULLABY as another throwaway entry in the genre but there's more than just labour pains to give and hopefully this is not the only child.

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