Jena Malone's character is haunted, but is the supernatural presence a ghost or a figment of her own mind?
[Angelica](movie:883322) is a Victorian ghost story from the director of Teeth, the black comedy/horror movie that REALLY left an impression. For those that didn't see it, Teeth followed a young girl with vagina dentata, or an extra set of teeth in an extremely unexpected place. Weird in the best of ways, the movie turned out to be an original take on horror, which I thoroughly appreciated.
Let's hope Mitchell Lichtenstein brings the same approach to Angelica, which just released its teaser trailer this week. From the looks of it, Angelica leaves the subversive humor of Teeth behind for a good old-fashioned haunting. When a young couple in the 19th century have a child, it causes a rift between them. As the husband, Dr. Joseph Barton (Ed Stoppard) pushes Constance (Jena Malone) to keep having sex with him, she grows increasingly protective of their daughter Angelica. A predatory ghost makes its way into the vulnerable household, and Constance turns to a strange spiritual guide (Janet McTeer) for support.
Check out the teaser below:
The most intriguing part of the trailer is all the questions it brings up. Where does this apparition come from? Is it a projection of Constance's repressed mind? Will she become the ultimate threat to her family?
Let's break down the trailer to investigate the atmospheric scares a little more thoroughly.
After the birth of Angelica, Constance is told not to have sex
"You must think of yourself as a hortus conclusus," the doctor tells Constance. The term is Latin for "enclosed garden" and was used to describe the Virgin Mary. This being sexually repressed Victorian England, Constance's husband is none too happy about this demand.
Constance's husband rejects the doctor's orders
He appears ravenously driven to sleep with his wife, despite the implication that damaging events are sure to follow. Is this the cause of the ghost's appearance?
As she becomes increasingly hysterical, Constance turns to a spiritual advisor
Anne Montague, a mysterious figure who reminds me way too much of Melisandre from [Game of Thrones](movie:817617), tells Constance that evil "can be projected without will or even knowledge." Something tells me that Anne does not have the best intentions when it comes to helping Constance.
Constance attempts to protect her daughter
She worries that the ghost is coming for her daughter, but what if it is coming for (or from) her?
She accepts the ghost
At the end of the trailer, Constance sits on the bed with a look of exhausted acceptance on her face, and a supernatural force floods the room. There are major sexual overtones here, but what exactly they're saying, I'm not yet sure.
What I do know is that it's been a while since I've seen a truly phenomenal period horror movie, so I've got high hopes for this one. Angelica will most likely turn out to be way more about psychological trauma than jump scares, and I'm ready to be unnerved by the interesting premise.
What did you think of the Angelica teaser?