Amulet released on 24 July 2020 after premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Romola Garai in her directorial debut, the horror film stars Carla Juri, Imelda Staunton, Angeliki Papoulia, and Alec Secareanu.
The Mortal Sins…
When I started watching Amulet, I thought it will the usual bad nun flick but as the story progressed, it was a different concept altogether. And here I ask you why should Valak be a woman? What about the men who sin?
The story goes back and forth again and again! Through Tomas’s (Alec Secareanu) dream we come across his past as a soldier deployed on an isolated outpost. The movie does start at a slow pace and it becomes a bit difficult to catch on but as the story progresses evil dives in.
Now, when I say that the movie is slow-paced then why should you watch it? Watch it for its ending, it will leave you baffled. Gradually, the backstory of Tomas starts to converge with his present.
For a larger part of the movie, you would feel – WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE and will get a shady vibe from the helpful nun Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton) who offers Tomas a place to live-in after his shelter burns down to ashes.
In the dilapidated house, Magda (Carla Juri) tends to her elderly, fading mother for almost the entire duration of the film. Magda as the caretaker of her pale, bleeding, and dying mother brings in the elements of fear and trust at the same time in the film. You will pity her!
While living with Magda, Tomas is in constant fear due to his troubled conscience. His troubled past makes him doubt himself, are you feel bad for him. But, well, not for long.
What Happens In The End?
Amulet‘s main themes are stereotypes and retribution. The movie has very subtle elements of fear and messages like gutted fish with their bloody innards wrenched out through a gaping slit, lush and wild nature shots, soft-focused snails, hairless bats with razor-sharp teeth, and bloody sheets are all ferociously captured in the film.
In the final sequence, Tomas kills Magda’s mother, thinking he is saving her from all the torture. Only through this act does he think he can have salvation for his sins. What sin did he commit? He raped Miriam while he was at the outpost. The twist here is that Miriam’s mother was a man like Tomas, who has been unrepentantly evil, had sinned, and was now paying.
Tomas became a mother forced to give birth again and again and not to any human but hairless bats with razor-sharp teeth, to pay for his sins because justice is a lady. The cosmic equalizer saw what Tomaz didn’t want to admit, and rather than grant him clemency, found him guilty and extracted her pound of flesh over and over in an unpleasant way.
Who Was The Nun?
The last reveal in the movie was that Sister Claire was not a nun. She is the human counterpart, like a handler to Magda who is a human incarnation, but in reality, she is a pre-Christian pagan deity.
Sister Claire helps Magda seek justice for women and punishes men who hurt the women kind. She offers redemption to those who deserve it, but for those who don’t, she provides only pain. To further survive, she needs a human male who births these offspring that is like an incarnation of pure evil – the sinners.
Amulet doesn’t offer mercy to sinners, it punishes and makes them suffer till they pay for their sins.
Who Left The Amulet For Tomas?
The Amulet seeks out for the sinner, no matter where you are, how far you go in some way or the other the Amulet will find you because unlike others, the sinner has an undeniable capacity for evil.
It is very much possible that if an innocent man finds it he won’t lose himself with it since he does not have the capacity to commit evil. The Amulet observes the silence of women who watch this cycle of male violence continue through the ages.
Towards the end when Magda gives the Amulet to Miriam, it represents that women aren’t alone in the dark and dreadful woods, ever. Justice will be served.
Stream It or Skip It
“Before your God, the Ancients didn’t believe you could forgive yourself. It wasn’t yours to give.” – Sister Claire.
STREAM IT! Amulet is a grim tale of pain and justice. The film says that being sorry isn’t the same thing as taking responsibility – never was, never will be. Especially when you seek forgiveness. Romola Garai’s directorial venture Amulet is a masterpiece of its own kind.
As the movie ends, Magda is seen going somewhere – probably to find someone just as evil. And meanwhile, Tomas is gonna become the man in the attic and he’s gonna be up there giving birth to these horrible creatures for an unpredictable long time.
Amulet is available on Video On Demand.
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