Mysterious behavior leads to an over-familiar reveal in this supernatural horror movie.
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By Nicolas Rapold
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Shacking up soon after meeting up could strain any relationship, but “Attachment” stirs in the extra spice of demonic possession. In Gabriel Bier Gislason’s compact supernatural story, Maja (Josephine Park) and Leah (Ellie Kendrick) move into Leah’s London flat not long after a meet-cute in a Danish library. Their sole neighbor is Leah’s mother, Chana (Sofie Grabol), whose extreme protectiveness lights a slow-burning fuse of dread.
Leah suffers from strange seizures and fugue states, and Maja starts clashing with Chana, an Orthodox Jewish homemaker, over how best to take care of her. The mutual suspicion simmers as Maja hears creaks in the night and finds Chana’s habits peculiar, though a welcome streak of light humor lets the whole story keep a toe in rom-com waters. (By chance this film arrives shortly after a recent, creepier entry in dybbuk horror, “The Offering.”)
When a neighborhood bookseller, Lev (a wry David Dencik), hints to Maja that something evil is afoot, a mystery develops as to whether Leah’s secretive mother has her daughter’s best interests in mind. But this buildup keeps us waiting for a reveal that then feels instantly familiar, despite nice subtle sinister touches in Kendrick’s performance.
One could imagine another version of “Attachment” that identifies the nature of Leah’s situation early on, and then watches the couple cope with it. As it is, the ticktock horror plotting muffles the romantic spark that brought Maja and Leah together in the first place — the thrill replaced by a lukewarm chill.
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes. Watch on Shudder.
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