(director/writer: Gabriel Bier Gislason; cinematographer: Valdemar Winge Leigner; editor: Nikoline Løgstrup; music: Johan Caroe; cast: David Dencik (Lev), Sophie Gråbøl (Chana), Ellie Kendrick (Leah), Josephine Park (Maja); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer:Thomas Heinesen; A Shudder release; 2022-Denmark-in Danish with English subtitles)
“The actresses make their characters enticing.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Danish first-time feature film writer and director Gabriel Bier Gislason presents a clever but unlikely horror pic based on a queer romance and a background story of Jewish mysticism.
The former Danish actress Maja (Josephine Park), a gentile in her mid-30s, has fallen on hard times until she falls for the Englishwoman Leah (Ellie Kendrick), a young Jewish academic studying in Copenhagen. Their lesbian romance is cut short after Leah experiences seizures and returns home to her Hasidic community in London. Maja follows Leah to London, where she encounters Leah’s hostile, religious, secretive and overbearing Orthodox Jewish mother, Chana (Sophie Gråbøl), living in the same building as her 20-something daughter. Strange occurrences take place in the building, and a Dybbuk comes into play with dark visions and a creepiness.
The thing here is how this strange love connection will work out despite an unwanted demonic presence in their real world affair.
Their relationship caught my interest because the actresses make their characters enticing. The mystical part is around to shade the atmosphere with darkness from the ‘attachments’ coming from the ‘other’ world
.It played at Tribeca.
REVIEWED ON 1/28/2023 GRADE: B