Love is complicated in Shudder’s new original film, Attachment. Following a charming LGBT romance, Attachment devolves into a frightening exploration of the demons our partners try to keep buried in the past. Brilliantly acted by its two leads, Attachment is able to lure the viewer in with sweetness, before revealing its teeth. A wild ride from start to finish, Attachment is a smart film that explores Jewish folklore in a horror tale that provides as much heart as it does thrills.
Written and directed by Gabriel Bier Gislason, Attachment follows the instantaneous romance between Maja (Josephine Park) and Leah (Ellie Kendrick), two women who meet by chance in a library. After Leah decides to stay in Denmark instead of returning to her mother in London, Maja realizes that Leah is sick. Maja then decides to move to London to live with Leah and her mother, and an ugly truth rears its head. Soon, supernatural evils will test the boundaries of Maja and Leah’s love, resulting in a frightening climax.
Attachment works because of the strong romance, catapulted by its excellent leads. Their chemistry is apparent from the moment the pair are introduced, and while both are great, it’s Kendrick who really stands out in a layered performance that is as endearing as it is terrifying. The film manages to pull the viewer in from the beginning, showing a fairly realistic account of a meet-cute that turns into a real relationship in just a matter of days. The film is very human, causing the horror to feel more effective when it reveals itself. Throughout the film, Maja clashes with Leah’s overbearing Mother (Sofie Gråbøl), which provides an interesting commentary on the contempt one can feel when they don’t quite connect to their partner’s family. While the metaphors in this film work wonders, the blatant horror elements are just as strong.
Attachment has a perfect mood, equipped with striking cinematography and an alluring soundtrack. The film has a punk aesthetic while still containing a down-to-earth feel, creating a fluid experience overall. Attachment will make the audience feel extremely emotional, before frightening them, and then calming them down with an energetic montage accompanied by a modern punk song. Bier Gislason showcases his ability to organically tell a dynamic story with a perfect ebb and flow.
Attachment is engaging, and despite juggling to genres that are often seen as opposites, manages to keep the viewer at the edge of their seat. While it does have plenty of creepy moments, the film contains an oddly calming quality, which helps move the narrative along. The Jewish folklore at the film’s core is explored with depth and grace. Attachment also does an excellent job switching up the narrative, making the viewer think they know where the film is going, before pulling the rug out from under them.
Attachment is a rare horror romance that finds the perfect balance between sweet and uncomfortable. Many movies that blend genres feel disjointed, but here, the audience is presented with a very balanced love story within an exorcism film.