top of page

Legacy of Fear: The Horrors Within 'Relic' (2020)


"Relic" is a chilling exploration of family bonds, aging, and the eerie tendrils of dementia that clutch at the mind. Directed by Natalie Erika James, this Australian psychological horror film creeps into the deepest recesses of the human psyche, leaving an indelible mark long after the credits roll.


The story unfolds with the disappearance of Edna (Robyn Nevin), the family matriarch, prompting her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) to return to their ancestral home to search for her. However, what begins as a simple search quickly morphs into a harrowing journey as they uncover a haunting presence lurking within the walls of the house.


What sets "Relic" apart from typical horror fare is its nuanced exploration of the horrors of dementia. As Edna's mind unravels, so too does the fabric of reality within the house, blurring the lines between past and present, memory and nightmare. James skillfully crafts an atmosphere of dread, utilizing stark cinematography and a haunting score to create an oppressive sense of unease that pervades every frame.


Central to the film's success are the powerhouse performances from its leading trio. Robyn Nevin delivers a haunting portrayal of a woman grappling with the erosion of her own identity, while Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote imbue their characters with a palpable sense of fear and desperation. Their complex dynamic serves as the emotional core of the film, grounding the supernatural elements in a deeply human experience.


At its heart, "Relic" is a meditation on the inevitability of loss and the legacy we leave behind. It confronts the terror of mortality head-on, forcing its characters—and by extension, the audience—to confront their own fears of aging and decay. While the horror may be supernatural in nature, its resonance lies in its profound exploration of the human condition.

In a genre often defined by cheap thrills and jump scares, "Relic" stands out as a haunting and deeply affecting piece of cinema. Natalie Erika James has crafted a masterful debut feature that lingers in the mind long after the final frame fades to black. For those willing to confront the darkness within, "Relic" offers a hauntingly beautiful journey into the heart of fear.

5 views0 comments


bottom of page