Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Lilith – review

Director: Mark Vadik

Release date: 2007

Contains spoilers

In an online discussion about Lilith – where the vampire connection was being discussed – friend and author Doug Lamoreux mentioned this film that he is in, though he said that it wasn’t a vampire film.

Now that depends. There is an inextricable connection between Lilith (Tina Krause) and vampires, drawn pretty much through the media vampire and, I totally agree, that the Lilith myth most people are familiar with is not particularly ancient. However, once a link is established through media, and if that link is repeatedly picked up, then it can’t be denied as a modern phenomenon. Regarding this film it really depends on your interpretation of vampire – this demoness is deemed to have had her soul removed by God and thirsts for what she has lost (the film is alternatively known as the Thirsting) and she is said to consume souls, obliged to take one per day to maintain the lives of her children. This pushes us into an energy vampire area. Apparently she is non-corporeal and must therefore visit her victims through dreams.

Tina Krause as Sister Catherine
Sister Catherine (Tina Krause) was a victim of Satanic ritual abuse – though her psychiatrist/priest doesn’t seem to think so. She believes she was saved by three angels, though this is denied by the church. Despite this, however, he recommends she return to active duty, which is chaperoning five young women on retreat. Mary (Jacqueline Hickel) is one of these and she is giving a talk on Lilith as part of the comparative religion class. The bits she doesn’t know are filled in by Father Palmer (Jason Matthew Palmer), such as Lilith’s children being spared if Lilith is allowed to possess a person until such time as she is exorcised. He sets the girls a collaborative paper before leaving.

Lilith haunts dreams
Sister Catherine seems a bit of a task master, insisting that the five go for a run (the retreat is not about fun, apparently). I guess we should mention that Mary is bunking with Clareese (Nikki Gahan) and the other women are sharing a room and they are Tiffany (Lauren McCarthy), Michelle (Courtney Pahlke) and Jackie (Lauren Ryland). After their run Sister Catherine orders them in to the shower and this leads her to have an erotic lesbian vision of three of her wards together. Following this they all nip in to town, where Clareese is to surreptitiously meet her boyfriend, Randy (Brian Cade). Instead she meets a homeless man who rants at her and Mary with biblical references – apparently he is one of three angels who visit and try to prevent the girls summoning Lilith, but taking a less ranting form might have helped. When Randy shows up she arranges for him to visit her cabin that night.

shared dream
As evening falls, Sister Catherine leaves her wards alone as she goes back to town to have her confession heard. Clareese comes up with the genius idea of summoning Lilitha and her friends go along with it. Just to note, apparently going skyclad now involves keeping knickers on! A part of the ritual is writing down their darkest sexual desire as a sacrifice to call Lilith to them. The ritual is interrupted as Randy arrives and he and Clareese go for some sex. When he leaves and the girls go to bed, Mary starts to dream and the dream involves a child (Sister Catherine, played by Sydney McGill) but also Randy coming in and having sex with her and choking her. In her dream Clareese is looking at them. In the morning Clareese is upset as she had the same dream but believes it to have been real and runs off rather than goes to volleyball practice.

eating her soul
Clareese falls asleep and has a dream induced by Lilith, sleepwalking whilst she does. This causes her to jump from a cliff and dash her brains out below. A hooded figure (Lilith, of course) sucks the soul from her body and then puts the scrap of paper with the sacrificed sexual desire in her mouth. Lilith then turns her attention to the other women. Now, the film's own internal logic stumbles a little bit at times, such as when Lilith passes a hairdryer to a dreaming victim who is stood in the shower, so she will drop something in her dream and drop the hairdryer into water – if she is incorporeal, how did this happen? Other than that the film tries to build up a psychosexual drama and is partially successful but ultimately it doesn’t fully work.

Mickey Rooney as an angel
This is probably down to budget, as much as anything. There are some sections of dialogue that sound awful and I assume they were dubbed post-production as the speakers sound like they are in the bottom of a blooming well. There is a cameo from Mickey Rooney as one of the angels (and as he doesn’t rant, he is actually listened to!) All in all this was ok, she is an energy vampire and therefore there is an element of vampiric possession. 3.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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