In RELIC (2020, streaming on Netflix), an Australian literary horror film, Kay travels to her mother Edna’s house with her daughter after Edna goes missing. They find a life in ruin due to dementia and possibly sinister forces at work. I liked it a lot as an example of a literary take and slow burn done exactly right, though the allegory is a bit on the nose.
I loved the pacing of this story, which is very character driven and slow burn but never gets boring. The dialogue is somewhat sparse and very realistic but somehow manages to convey a lot of character development and story. Both of the younger women want to care for Edna but in different ways, which establishes real, instant, and deep conflict.
I also liked the mounting dread. Something is not right in the house, which the younger women are discovering, and it slowly builds to a terrific climax and a powerful message about mental illness and love. Oddly, this is where I had probably my only qualm with the film, which was the allegory was a little direct for me, as I tend to like when this type of thing is teased.
Overall, I found RELIC a solid horror watch.