Gretchen Lodge is the titular Molly, a newlywed and recovering heroin addict, who makes the classic mistake of moving into the old-family-home-where-lots-of-bad-shit-happened™ with her truck drivin’ hubby, Tim (Johnny Lewis). For no particular reason, Molls often likes to go for a wander with her camcorder. This allows Sánchez to remind everyone how he made his name, by inserting the found footage of her exploration and peep sessions at various points throughout Lovely Molly. Most of it makes little sense and adds nothing but extra creepiness, for the sheer sake of it.
The film actually starts off on a steady foot, employing typical horror tropes such as the droning score with deep, rumbling bass and ensuring everything creaks sufficiently to create a tense atmosphere. However, once Molly begins to lose her grip on reality, Sánchez loses his grip on his narrative and this haunted house flick becomes a house of horrid.
Indeed, Lovely Molly is a horror film that finely treads the line between decent and possibly-disastrous for the first half of the film. From the point where Molly is called into her boss’ office to be reprimanded, it becomes clear that things are about to either get really good or fall right off a cliff face. Unfortunately, Lovely Molly takes the latter option and much like Homer Simpson, hits every bump possible on the way down.
A backstory never explained? Thud!
Characters suddenly acting out of character? Crack!
Horses are creepy, right? Smack!
Alexandra Holden putting in a truly terrible performance as the actually-no-so-lovely Molly’s sister, wooden Hannah? Splat!
Once it hits the bottom, Lovely Molly miraculously drags itself along through its gruesome and ludicrous third act to its pointless end. About an hour into the film, it begins to dawn that there won’t be any attempt to provide a decent payoff to any of the muck, leaving the final 30 minutes feeling especially tedious. To her credit, Lodge does her best amongst this sloppy “story” but it’s difficult to care much about Molly. Is she crazy? Is she possessed? Is she really that well-groomed down there after weeks of mental anguish? Who really gives a fu-…fully-formed concern?
With Lovely Molly, Sánchez fails to create anything resembling a compelling horror-thriller. Bucket-loads of nonsense and a brutal dénouement make for an unenjoyable cinematic cocktail of crap; squandering a decent, but completely underdeveloped premise. Still, Lovely Molly may be able to provide some scares; it could probably scare a smack-addict straight. For those not riding the H train, Lovely Molly is 90 minutes better spent by spending 90 minutes not watching it.