Directed by Eduardo Sanchez
Lovely Molly's obligatory sex scene is kinda hot, but most of the thrills are just a tease.
The movie starts with a kernel of potential. Molly's on the verge of suicide, her camcorder recording it for posterity while also calling to mind the infamy of director Eduardo Sanchez's The Blair Witch Project, which created a sensation 12 years ago as a horror movie masquerading as "real" lost footage of a student film documentary gone awry.
Anyway, Molly's disheveled. A mess. Far from lovely. Then, as is so appropriate in a movie like this, it's time to back up and revisit something even more horrifying: Molly's wedding.
Okay. Just kidding. Nothing scary happens there. Nothing at all. It's just a wedding, with more camcorder footage as wedding participants and attendees are interviewed and documented. Those moments feel natural and offer up hope that maybe – just maybe – Sanchez has hit on a new good idea.
Unfortunately, that momentum wanes quickly. Nothing particularly intriguing – or scary – happens during Lovely Molly, which turns into a standard issue ghost story sexed up for the new millennium.
Ultimately, the story is about Molly and the dirty doings of her father.
In what amounts to a classic bad idea, Molly and her new husband (Johnny Lewis, The Runaways) move into Molly's childhood home, the one where so many bad things happened to her as a little girl.
That's mighty sound thinking there, Molly. Surely it made some good financial sense or something. But when a creepy voice starts singing, "Lovely Molly," well, babe, maybe it's time to check into a Motel 6 and figure out Plan B. Lord knows you don't want to overstay your welcome with your sister (Alexandra Holden, In & Out) and her brood.
A molester and all around creep, Molly's father met a premature demise. His fate is dangled around as a mystery, and it's one which finally gets resolved in what's supposed to be a shocker revelation.
Alas, it's not so shocking. He was a bad guy. He deserved to be removed from the planet. The "whodunit" revelation is a little interesting, but not the OMG shocker this movie desperately needed.
The Full Molly
The chills are almost exclusively courtesy of run-of-the-mill ghostly whispers and decidedly unfriendly netherworld activity. Hope they crank up the A/C at the theatre because that's the only way real chills will be felt while watching this failed exercise in horror.
The boldest action comes from Molly herself, who participates in a somewhat steamy kitchen sex scene (the bacon's burning, babe) and also titillates with both full frontal and rear view nudity. It's a daring film debut by Gretchen Lodge, but one that probably won't lead to enough glory to compensate for all of her exposure.
Throw in a few wince-inducing moments thanks to a couple grisly murders and Phillips screwdrivers to the back of the head and the highlight reel is fully accounted for, amounting to less than five of the movie's 99-minute run time.
Sadly, the eeriest sensation Lovely Molly creates is one of a writer/director struggling to rebottle the lightning that vaulted him into indie film's superstar status, albeit for only 15 minutes.
• Originally published at MovieHabit.com.