Starring: Sofie Grabol, Josephine Park and Ellie Kendrick
Directed by: Gabriel Bier Gislason
Running Time: 105 minutes
Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
On paper, “Attachment” reads like a meet-cute sitcom episode. Maya (Park) is a washed up Danish actress making ends meet as a children’s entertainer at a library when she bumps into Leah (Kendrick), a youthful Jewish student who is exploring the world in her studies. The two immediately connect as they go back to Maya’s place for some cute glances and steamy sex. Things are off to an incredibly fast and amazing start when Leah suffers a bizarre seizure at night which results in a leg injury. So Maya goes with Leah back to her home in London where Maya meets Leah’s overbearing mother, Chana (Grabol). Definitely a meet-cute formula that’s about to get gobsmacked by something evil.
Without spoiling anything, “Attachment” is a movie we’ve seen before, utilizing several clichés to move the plot along, but what elevates the story is the unique qualities it brings to the table. Very rarely do we see these kinds of films with LGBTQ+ characters and Judaism as the subtext. That’s not to say the film intentionally includes these elements to be unique. Matter of fact, the film interweaves the nuances of these elements with clichés so that the clichés don’t feel nearly as prevalent. They’re still there, and at times give away what’s happening in Chana’s home.
The biggest thing I enjoyed about “Attachment” is how deep, even with how brief it sometimes is, we go in-depth with these characters. We learn more about Maya to where we understand why she feels the way she does about Leah. We also begin to recognize the toxic codependency between Leah and her mother. It’s difficult at first to tell which one is the most toxic and which one is potentially responsible for the increasingly paranormal things happening in the house. But like I stated before, if you’re a horror aficionado, you might be able to figure out what’ll happen in the final act because of the clichés.
Thankfully the film focuses more on mood than jump scares for its horror so that the film never feels cheap. Even when the runtime begins to feel a bit too long, the story continues to chug thanks to an effective atmosphere and believable performances. For me, it was difficult at times to figure out if this film works better as a horror with romance elements or a romance with horror elements because at times the film does both effectively and sometimes poorly. For the sake of the genre argument, I’ll say that this is a fine addition to the growing LGBTQ+ and Judaism horror collection. Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen these kinds of people in these stories, but “Attachment” feels fresh, even when it’s doing a juggling act we’ve seen dozens of times before.