I love Rue Morgue magazine. It is my absolute favorite horror magazine. The stock it’s printed on is gorgeous and it gives a great view of international and independent horror while also honoring classics. So, I was honestly really apprehensive when I found out that Rue Morgue‘s founder, Rodrigo Gudiño had made a movie. What if I didn’t like it? So I watched Gudiño’s movie, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh and can say that it’s a mixed-bag but I still love Rue Morgue.
Aaron Poole stars as Leon Leigh.
He’s been estranged from his mother, Rosalind Leigh (Vanessa Redgrave) for years, because of her involvement in this super creepy angel-worshiping cult. His father killed himself when Leon was young because of his involvement in the cult, although it’s never explained why. Leon inherits Rosalind’s house when she dies. He finds it full of angel statues, including one from his childhood that his mother used to play a sick game with. It’s also in very close proximity to the twin cult leaders, the Rahn brothers (both played by Julian Richings).
They’re deeply creepy and sound like Orin from Parks and Rec when he was dressed as April’s mother.
Leon immerses himself in his mother’s home, reading the church newsletters she used to read and watching worship videos. He also slowly becomes convinced that he’s not alone in the home or on the property. Something is stalking him in the house and tries to make him believe what his mother believed. He rejects that and turns his back on his mother fully, deciding to leave and sell the house and everything in it.
As I said, this movie is a mixed bag. The art direction is gorgeous. Every room is full of the creepiest angel statues. The music is also gorgeous and works well with the visuals. The whole thing comes together to create a very creepy atmosphere. But that’s all you get. There’s no real climax or catharsis, the ending is just too quiet and I felt cheated after all that buildup. I also wasn’t scared by the creature, also played by Julian Richings and billed as Neither Man Nor Woman. It felt too slick and CGI and didn’t mesh well with the environment.
I wouldn’t discount this movie. It was definitely fun watching it late at night. There’s a delightfully scary moment when Leon is watching a videotape labeled “Believe.”
The point of this movie is that we all make our own personal hells. Rosalind Leigh definitely does that for herself.
The big news about this movie is that Vanessa Redgrave, a very distinguished actress, plays Rosalind Leigh. The audience knows her mostly through narration which is very well performed but feels obtrusive at times. Aaron Poole also does a fine job as someone who’s damaged and has to confront his past.
I just don’t think the supernatural elements and the human elements of the movie are blended very well. This movie is like a bad blend of subtle and unsubtle and that takes away from what has the potential to be very good.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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