"Horror" is a well selling label, which is the reason, why many
ambitious movies are labeled as horror movies despite being nothing
like that - this old curse also hits "Anguish" and makes it being seen
mostly by an audience, who will not take this slow little indie movie
as a pleasure but will rather be disappointed.
I don't want to hide that I am part of just this audience.
Looking for a small, chilling ghost / possession movie I stumbled about
"Anguish" with little to no expectations and no idea about what the
movie will be in detail.
Starting the movie, I was immediately annoyed by "Lucy", but well,
things take a certain turn here...late, we are introduced to "Tess",
who, in all honesty, is at least as annoying as Lucy, if not more. I
see what the directors tried - they wanted to paint an introverted,
troubled character, but I am not sure if this wouldn't have played out
better if they didn't try to show an annoying teenager but a sensitive,
unusually calm kid or something...but well.
The story basically is about a girl, that gets possessed by the spirit
of another girl - without spoilers, if you read my review this far, you
can probably figure out who gets possessed by whom.
If you expect a possession horror movie, some exorcism, creepy stuff,
moving things and whatever there might be out there in the huge horror
movie portfolio, than forget that. "Anguish" is 95 % very low paced
drama about how the mothers cope with the situation - the girl(s)
is/are surprisingly unsurprised (no pun intended) by the situation. I
mean, hey, getting possessed by some dead girl is pretty refreshing if
you live in a boring small town, eh?
So, that's it. Basically nothing more happens during the entire movie.
Two annoying girls, two a very little bit less annoying mothers, and
some drama about why things have to be this way, until the movie finals
in a, well, it's not even a twist, I'd say it's the end you will expect
from minute one, if you ever have seen any horror movie, despite the
fact "Anguish" isn't such.
I can give some points for the fairly nice soundtrack, the okay acting
of the female lead girl, the atmosphere and the one scene, that gets
supernatural finally (even though this scene does not make any sense at
all - they just wanted to have it in the movie for showing off some
shift/tilt effects, I assume). The result of this scene finals in the
mentioned "twist" and does not match with the scene. At all. I'd
basically describe that as a continuity mistake.
So, can I recommend? For my personal taste, I can not, unfortunately. I
appreciate the efforts of independent film makers, and I understand
they tried to mix up rather suspense than horror with drama elements.
And hey, I can be fan of this - Carrie, Babadook and others show that
this walk on a red line can be done. Anguish fails to place itself
amongst those examples and can thus not be recommended - at least not
if you have to pay for it. If your preferred VoD portal has it offered
for free, you can take a look.