Co-directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez have had a tough time following up on what made Blair Witch Project so good. Myrick has come closest with The Objective, which has a lot in common with Blair Witch Project. But Sanchez’ latest movies were the wretched Seventh Moon (Amy Smart gets chased by Chinese ghost people) and the uneven Altered (“Hey guys, look! I found an alien!”).
However, Sanchez’ has finally found firmer footing with Lovely Molly, a creepy horror movie that shares some important elements with Blair Witch Project. Lovely Molly flirts with the found footage concept, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a bit of an inside joke for Sanchez. Like Blair, this movie has a strong female lead. As Molly, a recovering heroin addict who may or may not be afflicted by supernatural goings on, Gretchen Lodge is 110% committed to what she’s doing. Is she a good actress? With this sort of absolute conviction, that’s beside the point. The movie wouldn’t have worked without Lodge’s focus, commitment, and fearlessness.
Lovely Molly can be pretty aimless. It takes its time. It meanders. It’s slow. But it will not deny you a payoff. As with Blair Witch Project, you’re in for a memorable finale. The problem with so many horror movies is that once everything is revealed, once the cards are on the table and the monster is out of the closet, it all falls apart. Any crappy horror movie can get mileage out of something lurking in the dark. But it’s a rare horror movie that can shine a light on its lurker and still be scary.
Lovely Molly is available on DVD.