It’s 2024 already and there are so many movies that missed their chance for an audience because of the pandemic of 2020. I plan to deep dive into some movies that didn’t get the chance at the bigger audiences they deserved. As a horror fan, I get asked a lot “what are some of your favorite underrated horror movies?” Amulet is one such movie.
Romola Garai is the first time director and writer that created this twisted gothic nightmare. You might recognize the name because Romola started her career as an actress, starring in some big movies like Atonement and The Last Days on Mars, in addition to numerous Shakespearean productions for the BBC.
Amulet focuses on an ex-soldier named Tomaz who now lives in London as a homeless day worker. We slowly learn about the trauma he suffered in the war through flashback segments which also explains some of the stuff that happens to him in Magda’s house. Tomaz is seen sleeping in an abandoned building, which catches fire while he is sleeping. He is overcome by smoke and is taken to the ER. It’s this event that brings him into contact with a nun named Sister Claire who is looking for a live-in handyman to help a young woman. Magda is taking care of her seriously ill mother who is unable to leave her attic room. Reluctant at first, neither Tomaz or Magda like the arrangement, but her house is in dire need of repairs and he has no place to live, so they agreed to the arrangement and get to know each other.
Odd things begin to happen in the house; Tomaz finds a white bat-like creature blocking the toilet, some seriously scary noises coming from the ill mother’s room, and then there is the growing sexual tension between Tomaz and Magda. They are visited regularly by Sister Claire who delivers another piece of the puzzle every time she shows up.
As Amulet unfolds, the tension is ratcheted up and it is what kept my attention. This movie plays out like a Clive Barker-written update to a Hammer movie. Very dark, disturbing, and down right gross. It’s definitely a slow burn, but the last 30 minutes of this movie blew me away. I LOVED IT!!!
Alec Secareanu, Imelda Stauton, and Carla Juri (Tomaz, Sister Claire, and Magda, respectively) really take Romola’s amazing script and bring it to life. Imelda as Sister Claire is the real standout; she really took her role and ran with it, giving Judi Dench a run for her money as Britain’s most talented actress. My only complaint is I wish there was more background to what is wrong with Magda’s mother. That is a minor complaint and overall Amulet is a creepy little secret not many people have seen.
Amulet is available for rent on Amazon, Apple and VUDU. Grade: A+