The Danish/English horror film “Attachment” has a putting checklist of fears: a companion’s overbearing mother or father, a attainable scary historical past of mentioned companion, and evil spirits identified in Judaism as dybbuks. With some emotional ambition, these uneasy emotions lead into each other in author/director Gabriel Bier Gisalson’s directorial debut, however there’s simply not sufficient to carry onto by its exhausted finish.
Of their relationship’s starting, issues look fairly good and light-weight for former Danish actress Maja (Josephine Park) and London-based educational Leah (Ellie Kendrick). Maja and Leah meet-cute at a library in Denmark, the place they stumble upon one another and unwittingly change books. After they discover one another to make the swap, Maja is captivated by Leah, who has a vibrancy and humorousness that’s rapidly disarming. Instantly an invitation for daytime tea turns to wine in Maja’s condo, which then turns into an elongated sleepover. The 2 fall for one another arduous, exchanging playful jokes alongside the best way, and the chemistry between Kendrick and Park is illustrative of when a relationship shuts out the remainder of the world. After which, one evening, Leah has a seizure so unhealthy that it breaks her leg. In the meantime, Leah’s Mum is looking—once more. With Leah tossing her phone to the aspect, we see greater than a dozen missed calls.
Maja goes with Leah to her residence in London, which is in the identical constructing and upstairs from her mom, the apprehensive Chana (Sofie Gråbøl). Issues are just a little off with Chana—she’s mighty pushy about taking good care of Leah and likewise has just a few unusual items of Jewish iconography hidden round the home. It doesn’t assist how Chana all the time has such a grave, wounded look on her face. And when Leah ventures exterior the condo to study extra about these Jewish symbols from a person named Lev (David Dencik)—who so occurs to be Leah’s uncle—Maja is chastised. Lev is informed by Chana not to talk about this stuff.
May this be a case of Munchausen syndrome? To its credit score, Gisalson doesn’t let the viewer off the hook so simply. His script has just a few surprises for viewers who could also be intrigued by its story and its solely barely spooky visuals (candles that gentle up on their very own), which leads to a extra simple third act constructed round some freaky performing. However “Attachment” is simply far too drawn out for one thing that ditches its humorousness halfway by, doesn’t decide its essential worry for a very long time, and will get tremendous sluggish each time it wants to clarify itself. “Attachment” very a lot desires to set its horror inside Jewish mythology and Extremely-Orthodox life, and but this particular alternative all the time creates an exposition overload, which has a extra distancing than inclusive impact.
In sure slivers, “Attachment” is stronger as a rumination on the extra common worries of a relationship—if you study that it has private connections (Gisalson wrote the script for Park, primarily based on elements of her life), it makes extra sense. The scariest story right here is then saved for what happened to Leah’s father, revealed early on. Chana wasn’t initially Extremely-Orthodox: her ex-husband introduced her into the neighborhood, had her transformed, and disappeared. She nonetheless clings to this spiritual way of life like denial, whereas her sense of self has vanished. An enormous threat of loving somebody is the possibility that they’ll change who they’re, and go away with heartbreak. “Attachment” will get at that with Gråbøl’s disturbing dramatic work, mirrored poignantly by Maja’s gradual worry as she learns simply who or what she’s getting nearer with. It’s a nasty conundrum, particularly when codependency feels just like the safety we would like most.