A Decade of Terror: The best horror films of the 2010s

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Lovely Molly–Directed by Eduardo Sanchez

Lovely Molly (2012)

Upon its release in 2012, Lovely Molly unfairly suffered at the hands of most film critics. It may never fully receive the attention or affection it truly deserves, but we’re confident in naming it one of the best horror films of the 2010s.

Co-written and directed by Eduardo Sánchez of The Blair Witch Project fame, Lovely Molly follows its newly-married titular character as she moves back to her childhood home with her husband. A recovering heroin addict, Molly’s mental health quickly deteriorates as the memories of her troubled childhood resurface, and a sinister presence begins tormenting her mentally and physically.

Ambiguity courses through Lovely Molly, and similarly to what director Brad Anderson accomplished in 2001’s Session 9, Sánchez aptly loads his film with the unrelentingly dreadful and eerie atmosphere to accommodate it. Many of the scares are provided subtly by that atmosphere alone, as it creeps inside of the viewer’s mind like a spider through the ear canal. The weight of the film, however, rests on the shoulders of Gretchen Lodge, who is front and center.

As Molly, Lodge delivers a vulnerable performance of a woman who is damned to a downward spiral. Her pain is inescapable, and it’s impossible not to feel for her as she succumbs to the torment of her mind and her past. Lodge’s portrayal of mental illness is an acting powerhouse that ranks among the best of a decade that has been dominated by women in similar positions. Whether the horror of Lovely Molly lands for you or not, you’re guaranteed to be riveted by her performance.