‘Attachment’ Review: Queer Romance? Jewish Folklore? We Love to See it!
It must be repeated that horror isn’t always blood, guts, and boobs. Sometimes it is, and that’s fine, you know? I’m here for all sorts of horror and am not above having a good time in the slightest. But when you’re a seasoned horror fan, it’s a delight to see a subgenre exceed expectations. It’s wonderful to be surprised like that and for the buildup to pay off. There’s nothing more frustrating than a horror film that’s very slow and doesn’t deliver at the end. Why give slow-building horror a bad name, am I right?
Attachment isn’t your typical supernatural horror film steeped in folklore. It’s not whirlwind story about a couple with kids in an old house. This film centers on a lesbian couple, family secrets, and Jewish folklore. Maja (Josephine Park) and Leah’s (Ellie Kendrick) love story is very sweet and has an authentic feeling to it, even when weird shit is happening. Their chemistry and obvious feelings for one another make everything real.
In what could be considered a light form of U-hauling, Maja leaves Denmark to follow Leah, who must go back home to London after having a seizure. The creepiness and unnerving atmosphere is established once we’re introduced to Leah’s mom (who lives downstairs). Chana (Sofie Gråbøl) is very overbearing and very stern when it comes to Jewish customs. There’s also a lot of familial tension and lingering grief surrounding Leah’s father. Without revealing too much, Maja begins to become suspicious of Chana and her intentions surrounding Leah. And it’s easy to jump to conclusions about what she wants. After all, we’ve seen plenty of horror movies about out-of-control parents.
It is quite refreshing that the folklore is specifically Jewish rather than a random evil spirit. Allowing for more diversity, even in folklore, is what we should strive for, and having queer couples experience this type of terror is also fun. The typical nuclear family trope is a bit tired now, and I was grateful this was a different type of story—not to mention it isn’t entirely clear what’s going on. This film is mainly in Maja’s perspective because she’s the outsider in many ways.
Don’t be fooled, though, about this being strictly supernatural horror. Attachment does fall into the category of horror romance because yes, Leah and Maja’s relationship is very key to making this film work. Watching two people without chemistry would be more of a chore than anything. But thankfully, Josephine Park and Ellie Kendrick mesh well. Even minor characters, such as Leah’s uncle, pair well with Park and Kendrick.
Spoiling the ending and mystery would be a complete disservice to you as a potential viewer. I will say that it’s wise to go into this film without reading spoilers or having certain expectations. If you’re expecting people scaling ceilings, people being dragged to the floor by unseen forces, or bloody moments, you’ll be tuning into the wrong film. I recommend Attachment for folks who want something new, queer, and surprising. And if you’re a big fan of Shudder originals, this is another splendid addition to their catalogue.
(featured image: Shudder)
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