Relic (2020) Movie Review

Director: Natalie Erika James

Writer: Natalie Erika James, Christian White (Screenplay)

Starring: Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Steve Rodgers, Chris Bunton

Plot: A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.

Tagline – Everything Decays

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Relic starts when Kay (Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Heathcote) head to Kay’s mother Edna’s (Nevin) house after reports that nobody has seen of her for a couple of days, the pair find an empty house, which leads to a search in the local woodland, until Edna appears back at the home.

Kay is concerned about her mother, looking at options to offer her a chance of a calmer life, but Edna isn’t willing to leave her home, despite an uneasy presence around the home, as the three generations of women are looking for the best option for the family.

Thoughts on Relic

Characters & Performances – Kay is the overworking businesswoman and mother that is not only making sure her daughter is making the best life choices, but needs to make sure her own mother is ok, after she is reported missing. She wants to do the right thing once her mother returns, but is caught in the position of trying to do the right thing and do what her mother wants. Edna is the mother and grandmother that has gone missing, once she does return, she doesn’t remember everything what happened, or isn’t willing to let anyone know the truth, she is showing the early signs of memory loss which will lead to her reaction to certain moments of interaction between the family. Sam is the granddaughter that is still deciding what she wants from life, be it from the university studies or career choice, she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but knows she wants to help her grandmother out, offering to be the one that stays close to her. Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote give us three outstanding lead performances, each one showing us different generations of women in this story that is about their relationship.

StoryThe story here follows mother and daughter who go in search of their mother and grandmother which will see them exploring the home, before the return leaves an unease around the home about what might have happened. The story does dive into the generation divide between family members, showing us just how important each moment of aging can be, we get the usual ideas of dealing with the futures, while address different generations point of view of helping the older generation, the story does keep this air of unease through the film, which does help the story have a fine line between what could be happening in every scene.

ThemesRelic brings us a horror that isn’t a jump a minute, it is slowly built up movie, with the tension always being there from the first moment, to the final shot, we get the deserved reveal, which adds the extra horror to the film, with the idea of what might happen in each scene. We do keep most of the film inside the one house, which is isolated and full of history and secrets, with the special effects being used to give us the shocking moments of the film.

Best Parts

Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote performances.

The final shot.

The tension being built up through the film.

Worst Parts


Final Thoughts Relic is a brilliant tension filled horror, with deeper meanings behind any of the horror experienced in the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Relic on Digital HD 8 January and Blu-ray & DVD 18 January 2021

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