Monday, March 13, 2023

Leave (2023)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Leave (2023)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 1h 46min
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: AudioCue Tonlabor, Duper Post Punks, Duper Studio, Flambert Studio, Fuglefjellet, Ljudbang, Mainstream, Mediefondet Zefyr, Ministi Film, Norsk Filminstitutt, OPC Megaphon, Trailer Park, Trollbound Entertainment, Vaterland Studios Oslo, SF Studio, Shudder
Director: Alex Herron
Writers: Thomas Moldestad
Actors: Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Stig R. Amdam, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Morten Holst, Ragnhild Gudbrandsen, Bjørn Myrene, Maria Alm Norell, Gerald Pettersen, Clarence Smith
IMDb Blurb: A young woman tries to find her origins after having been abandoned as an infant at a cemetery wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, but as she gets closer to answers a malevolent spirit is telling her to leave.

Cat’s Point of View:
The trailer for Leave hadn’t really knocked my socks off. It seemed like it would fall in line with most other basic jump-scare-riddled genre offerings. I am thrilled to have been proved wrong. 

The story for Leave ran far deeper than the obvious paranormal activity shown in the trailer. At its heart, it was a story about the mystery of an abandoned baby and the skeletons an old Norwegian family had in their closet. 

The main character, aptly named Hunter, was easy to relate to in her quest to find her roots. I did also appreciate how the story leaned in a bit to the stereotypes that surround Norwegian Death Metal. (Don’t worry, that particular musical genre is mostly a plot point. If you don’t like your metal music that dark - or even metal music at all, it’s not really present in the film. Your ears are safe.)
I was along for the ride for all of the twists and turns Leave traversed, and got a kick out of the usual facepalm moments where audiences realize that the main character is making a big mistake. I loved the way the paranormal activity was woven into the story. There was more to the ominous and terrifying encounters than the activity, itself. Alas, it’s hard for me to explain that further without spoilers. 
All around, Leave wasn’t too shabby. It, however, wasn’t without its faults. The acting was generally on point, though it was a little audibly jarring occasionally when the lead’s accent slipped. I didn’t really mind all that much. I was invested enough in the story. Also, while generally pleasant, I didn’t really enjoy the actual ending. It felt rather abrupt - as if there needed to be more and it was cut too short, or perhaps it should have capped off the story one scene earlier. 

Leave certainly wasn’t what I expected, and it proved to be a generally solid mystery thriller. The answers definitely weren’t what I was expecting, and I appreciated that. I likely won’t remember this one as well in time, but I wouldn’t steer anyone away from experiencing it themselves to form their own opinion. 

Leave will begin streaming on Shudder on Friday, March 17th.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.0/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5

Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

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