MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh

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Movie: The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh
Director: Rodrigo Gudino
Writer: Rodrigo Gudino
Studio: Rue Morgue Cinema

The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh is a supremely creepy movie full of true terror in lieu of cheap scares.

By now these “horror” movies about ghosts and possessions are getting a bit tiresome. It seems like you cannot go more than a few months without seeing a trailer for something with exorcism or haunting in the title and none of them have been worth your time. Ever since people started going in droves to subpar movies, Hollywood has kept making them and they have been getting worse and worse. When I saw the trailer for The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh I did not pay much attention to it for this reason, but now that I have seen it, I have to say it is one of the best horror films of the year.

This film focuses entirely on Leon Leigh (Aaron Poole), who has returned to his childhood home after the death of his mother. His parents were members of a cult that worshiped angels and he has been traumatized by the way he was raised, specifically by his fanatical mother (Vanessa Redgrave) after his father committed suicide. Now that he is back in the old house memories of his childhood start to overwhelm him and he cannot help shake the feeling that someone or something is in the house with him.

The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh (just Rosalind Leigh for the remainder of this review) is not like your traditional haunting film. While the premise may be familiar, that is where it stops being like movies you have seen before. Instead of being loaded with cheap jump scares and disturbing images to jar you, Rosalind Leigh builds massive amounts of terror through atmosphere and mood. The first real “scare” moment does not even come until act two of the film, but nearly every moment of the movie leading up to it makes your skin crawl. The house is loaded with statues and historical sculptures and paintings, most with religious themes and overtones, that give a very eerie quality to the otherwise normal setting.

The entire film takes place in the house over the duration of one night, with one character (other than old pictures, videos, and a stellar narration from his mother). This is minimalist filmmaking at its best. The way Rosalind Leigh was shot is absolutely gorgeous. Instead of quick cuts this film has long drawn out shots with slow camera movement. Leon walks in and out of the frame as he does things throughout the house all in one take. Combined with the perfectly moody music, this technique will have you on the edge of your seat for most of the runtime.

Without giving anything away, the conclusion of Rosalind Leigh will blow you away. The movie starts picking up pace fast, going from slow and unsettling, to frenetic and in your face chilling in a matter of minutes. All of this builds and builds until the big payoff with a great ending that will not be what you expected at all. When everything is wrapped up and you think it is finally over, the movie keeps on going, adding more questions to the already complex narrative.

Finding things I did not like about this great film was hard. It can be a little confusing at times if you are not paying attention, but why would you watch a movie and not give it your full focus anyways? Some of the effects near the end are not the greatest, but it certainly is not enough to take you out of the film.

After months of waiting for a great horror film to come out that focused more on mood than gore or cheap scares, it was so refreshing to see Rosalind Leigh. Not only does it do an amazing job of making you feel scared for all the right reasons, it also tells a very interesting story in a beautiful manner. Those looking for a great horror film that is not like the usual shit that keeps coming out in theaters should be sure to check out The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh when it releases on DVD and VOD July 30.

Score: A-

Review written by: Justin Proper

 

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