Dir. Chloe Okuna
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
A great stand out performance from Maika Monroe in a European horror that has the stamp of Hitchcock, Giallo cinema, POSSESSION and PERSONAL SHOPPER to create a spellbinding detective story to grizzly effect.
Beautifully shot, the large open frames add to Julia's absence from relocating to Budapest with a foreign language, an absent husband, and a serial killer in her area all culminating in an escalating spiral of loneliness, and misery until the very end.
Amongst the cast, the themes of alienation are shared with other genre classics such as BERBARIAN SOUND STUDIO and even 2021's CENSOR with everyone around Julia pointing at rationale yet all remaining too foreign from the world she has come from. A partner who is never there only makes Julia more suspicious of those around her and nobody can be trusted for her to empty her heart. When the finger of suspicion is raised against neighbour Burn Gorman the realm of reality and paranoia truly intersect and with a killer on the loose, Julia becomes more determined to find the killer not only for future victims, but for herself.
Throughout Chloe Okuna's stunning feature debut there are plenty of bait and switch moments all grasping for a conclusion that is as depressingly depraved as it is intriguing allowing audiences to feel the emotional turmoil and detective work of its lead character.
The ending shot is slightly disappointing and the films tone is a little too familiar but it's a great film to scratch an itch with a brilliant central performance from Monroe.