Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


When octogenarian Edna inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam rush to their family’s decaying country home and find clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay’s concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she’s been clashes with Sam’s unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. However, as Edna’s behavior turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her.

In her feature debut, writer/director Natalie Erika James crafts an unforgettable haunted-house movie highlighted by unsettling sonic and visual design (and complete with literal bumps in the night), while gracefully incorporating the all-too-real terror of facing a deteriorating loved one. All three actresses do superb work building their characters’ frayed family chemistry, with Robyn Nevin remarkable in the terrifically challenging role of Edna—who may be the manifestation of the monstrous force destroying the house or perhaps just its most vulnerable prey.

Closed captioning is available for this film.

— H.Z.

Screening Details

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