Nutshell Review: Amulet
PG Score: 6.25/10
Amulet was a big time mixed bag of a horror movie. I did my post movie reading which proved to be very helpful, namely an interview with writer/director Romola Garai (spoiler warning, read after seeing movie) that explained a few aspects that were a bit unclear at first. First and foremost, this is a weird movie...very weird. It’s also very disjointed. There were some things I liked and more that I didn’t.
First, the bad. For one, the pacing was terrible. There were multiple times when the momentum was cranked up pretty high just to come crashing down due to an odd directorial decision. I just didn’t understand why the director went some of the directions that she did (even after my reading). Secondly, the romantic aspect here was a bit out of place and excessive. A smaller amount of it would have served the same purpose. The extent to which it was employed detracted from the horror element. Also, the movie is just flat-out all over the place. There is a lot of throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Now, for the good. The stuff that does stick really works. There are a few wickedly shocking scenes that are likely to unsettle even the strongest of stomachs. Secondly, the motives behind the main villain are very cool and unique. The mythology gives it some intrigue which you can learn more about in the previously linked interview with the director. Finally, the slow-building tension works well during the more horrific sequences. It’s too bad the negatives are so prevalent in Amulet because the positives in it really work. This is a very tough movie to score, but I’m landing on a 6.25/10. It is certainly worth a watch, as long as you’re willing to look past the shortcomings.