Friday, August 9, 2013

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
An antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to discover that she had been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious cult. Soon, he comes to suspect that his mother's oppressive spirit still lingers within her home and is using items in the house to contact him with an urgent message.

Today I'm reviewing a chilling, mind turning film called "The Last will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh". Again, this is another film available on Netflix, so if you want to give this a watch, it's right at your fingertips. I watched this one late at night and by myself. To be truthful, I'd be lying if I said I fully understood it, there's a lot to this movie, and it may take more than one viewing to fully digest what the movie offers. I myself, will be watching it again very soon, maybe even tonight.

I've heard mixed reviews on this one, and I can be totally truthful when I say, that I see both perspectives when it comes down to it. I can see why some would love it, and I can see why some would hate it. Like a lot of horror films, not all genre fans are going to be on the same page when it comes to opinions. This is aimed at those who don't need gore thrown in their face. This is a slow paced haunting film with story and characters. It takes the slow burn route and really just slowly seeps into your skin and brain. 

I'd like to think it's aimed at mature viewers, because it's not all about what you see. You have to think and use your brain. The viewer is treated as intelligent, instead of throwing around cheap jumps and noise to scare you. Though, I will add that some of the music gets to be a bit much, and may make you want to turn your television down. It can actually get quite annoying at times.

What drew me to this film is that it has a sad undertone to it. It's not a happy film and it doesn't try to overcompensate by trying to be overly scary. The pace of the film may seem to move at the pace of a snail at times, but it still manages to keep you watching. Mostly because you're trying to figure out what the hell is going on! Don't take that in a negative light though, I always like a little mystery to my films. Sometimes explanations can kill the hook the movie has on you.

The narration by Rosalind (Vanessa Redgrave) is somber, touching and creepy. You really get a wide array of emotions going when watching this film. One minute you feel one way and the next minute you're all twisted up. This works exceptionally well when applied to ghost/haunting stories. This may not be the greatest paranormal film you'll ever see, but it certainly will sit with you for a bit after you watch it, and make you do an aforementioned second watch.

Leon (Aaron Pool), Rosalind's son is settling his mother's estate and starts to encounter weird things and happenings such as statues showing up and moving on their own. What's unique about this film is that Leon is practically alone through the duration of the film. The whole film centers around him and how he's reacting and dealing with his mother's death. We almost instantly know how he feels of her, which isn't very good. There's a lot in his past that he's not happy to remember. We come to understand that he was harshly abused as a child by his mother for not sharing her belief in God, and moved away to get away from it all.

When Leon comes back to deal with his mother's estate things go from weird to crazy, and them back to weird. The whole movie keeps you guessing as to what is really happening, up until the sad and haunting ending. There's really not too much to give away without confusing any reader, so I'll stop right here. Just know that if you're in the mood for a film that will keep you intrigued and may cause an eyebrow to be raised a time or two, this is worth a watch. Especially if you like haunting films and wouldn't mind giving it a second viewing once the smoke clears from the first time.

There's some bad acting at times throughout, which is the same I can say for the editing. This isn't one of the best ghost stories you'll ever see, not even close. It's also not the worst either. This is a movie that manages to do it's job without an abundance of gore, nudity and killings. It's an easy, laid back horror film that'll keep you're mind going the whole time. So yeah, it's absolutely worth at least one watch by anyone up for a decent haunting story.


  1. I had mixed feelings on this one...I really liked the house and the direction, but when it ended it didn't really..I dunno, "click" with me.

    1. Right. I agree. I only gave it a 3/5 because off of my initial reaction I viewed it as good and not bad, but as far as praising it or giving it a great rating goes, I'm going to need another viewing. After another viewing my rating could go higher or lower honestly.

  2. I enjoyed this movie very much, up until the end. Which left me going "Huh?" I get that it was meant to be some form of explanation, but I didn't get what the explanation was supposed to be. I certainly don't object to open-ended films, films that make you question, but I'm very frustrated with what seems to be some form of explanation, but is so confused that I truly, truly have no idea what it is trying to say.

  3. I think the movie is about a mother who cannot let go of her son even in death. What the monster is I have no good explanation. I think the movie could be a mixture of different things. Incest victims might describe the situation as being attacked by a vampire. I think the monster could be a shadow of incest and that is why there is also the mother in the story so strongly who cannot let go of her son but keeps on haunting him.

    Who knows what the idea of the movie is but this is my interpretation.

  4. The ending also left me as "huh?" but overall I will be honest - I was scared. I believe the creature was "loneliness" and was trying to consume the son as it did the mother. I also felt sad for the mother who missed her son very much. Overall I really liked the movie.

  5. The ending also left me as "huh?" but overall I will be honest - I was scared. I believe the creature was "loneliness" and was trying to consume the son as it did the mother. I also felt sad for the mother who missed her son very much. Overall I really liked the movie.

  6. Another explanation I considered was that Leon was never in the house. I think in the old woman's loneliness for her son she took her life thinking that if she died he would come home and they might be reunited again. At the end she kept saying how she had imagined it all. How she had imagined that he would come home and search for her and miss her and see that she did love him in her own way and he didn't even come to her funeral. In the end she stated she was even lonelier now and that he never came. Then it shows the house in ruin. I could be wrong but I wondered if her ghost created the fantasy of him returning out of her lonesomeness for him. She was lonely in life and even a drastic act like her own death could not being him home which made her even lonelier in death. Maybe I'm wrong but its good how the movie makes one ask questions.


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