Lovely Molly 

The film opens with a deeply distraught Molly (newcomer Gretchen Lodge, in a fearless, go-for-broke debut) recording herself on Oct. 16, 2011, saying, “Whatever has happened, it wasn't me.”

Immediately, we jump back to “whatever.” Married just 13 months earlier, mall janitor Molly and her level-headed truck-driver hubby, Tim (Johnny Lewis, TV’s Sons of Anarchy), live at her late parents' place out in the country. One night, they hear noises and see evidence of an intruder, yet spot no trace of anyone. The activity escalates – mostly while he’s on the road, leaving her alone — to violent knocking on the door and cries emanating from within the house.

And I’m not about to reveal their source. But Lovely Molly is less about the supernatural happenings and more about the psychological damage they do to her, which is quite a bit. Lodge feels realistic in the role, not “actressy” in the least.
 
Sound design is practically a character in itself, creating a real sense of menace, and operating on levels that made my dog wince and weep. That said, the film ambles for so long, and the power of suggestion only takes you so far. I was started to get restless and bored, when finally, it paid off.

In fact, the penultimate scene is so creepy, so utterly spine-shivering, it turned my opinion around, from a thin miss to a mild recommendation. Strangely, according to Sánchez’s commentary, that scene was added only after previewing the film. I can’t imagine it not being there; a week later, I’m still trying to shake it. —Rod Lott

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Rod Lott

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