Disappointing Portuguese Horror Film Fails To Break New Floor


  • Amelia’s Kids
    is a generic horror thriller that fails to supply a lot that’s distinctive or compelling.
  • The film’s aesthetic lacks the flexibility to evoke emotion, resorting to protected, predictable visible storytelling.
  • The film’s best power is its solid, significantly lead actor Brigette Lundy-Paine.



Amelia’s Kids boasts a easy setup, one that can possible really feel acquainted to horror followers. Suppose 2022’s The Invitation, however with Portuguese witchcraft legends as the middle of the newfound household’s points as an alternative of vampirism. The film follows Ed (Carloto Cotta), a thirty-something man who has been making an attempt to study his start household. After his girlfriend Ryley (Brigette Lundy-Paine) will get him an ancestry package for his birthday, they journey to Portugal to fulfill his long-lost twin brother Manuel (additionally Cotta) and their mom Amelia (performed within the current by Anabela Moreira and in flashbacks by Alba Baptista).

Amelia’s Kids is a horror-thriller movie directed by Gabriel Abrantes and launched in 2024. Edward lastly locates his organic mom and twin brother within the mountains of Portugal, prompting a visit there together with his girlfriend, Ryley. Nevertheless, the reality behind his household and why they had been separated within the first place is much extra sinister than both of them might have imagined.


  • Brigette Lundy-Paine offers a compelling lead efficiency
  • Lundy-Paine and co-star Anabela Moreira have stellar chemistry

  • The storyline is just too generic to be of a lot curiosity
  • The film would not have an formidable aesthetic that heightens the horror

One other horror trope involves the fore when Ryley tries to persuade Ed that one thing’s mistaken with Manuel (who appears uncommonly shut together with his mom) and Amelia (whose obsession with youth is overpowering). Nevertheless, Ed is just too consumed by the push of discovering his household to take heed to her more and more determined makes an attempt to alert him to the potential hazard. That is alla part of an extended horror lineage of imperiled feminine characters who cannot persuade the world round them to take their fears significantly, from classics like Rosemary’s Child all the best way all the way down to fashionable films like Parker Finn’s Smile.

Amelia’s Kids Does not Elevate Its Clichés

Its uncompelling aesthetic matches its generic storyline.

These tropes aren’t issues in and of themselves. Many well-regarded horror films use long-running tropes and clichés. In actual fact, numerous subgenres just like the slasher are virtually completely constructed on predictable formulae. Nevertheless, it’s as much as the filmmakers to ship one thing satisfying along with the method, akin to compelling characters, surprising twists, an enticing aesthetic, or a singular message. Sadly, Amelia’s Kids appears content material to coast on essentially the most generic doable avenues the style can present, with little to no variation.

The film appears eager to drag again, as if it is afraid to let the viewers get too unsettled by what is going on on.

There are moments within the film that do threaten to current parts which might be taboo or off-putting, however the film appears eager to drag again, as if it is afraid to allow us to get too unsettled by what is going on on. As a substitute of embracing the horror style, which is regularly at its greatest when it is a bucking bronco that rattles us out of our seats, the film features like a coin-operated pony within the play zone on the mall — protected, predictable, and ever so clean.

The filmmaking of Amelia’s Kids is equally unwilling to shock the system. To make certain, it’s a competently shot film. The evening scenes aren’t stuffed with indecipherable murky darkness like many fashionable horror tasks. The colour palette is wealthy, there’s respectable distinction, and it is by no means disagreeable to take a look at. However there’s by no means a way that the digital camera has been put someplace to evoke emotion in us. It’s merely a blunt instrument that enables the story to play out in entrance of it, reasonably than one thing that is thought of an vital and mandatory factor in telling stated story.

Robust Performances Cannot Save Amelia’s Kids

Brigette Lundy-Paine is the lead the film wants.

Finally, if there’s a saving grace to this film, it’s the solid, particularly Brigette Lundy-Paine (who is probably going greatest recognized for his or her position as Casey Gardner within the Atypical solid). They’re imbuing their character with a captivating, approachable heat, which is essential. You will need to like and relate to Ryley on some stage, as a result of in any other case it would not be practically as compelling to look at her attempt to discover her approach out of the unhealthy scenario the film has positioned her in.

Lundy-Paine could be the MVP right here, however their co-stars additionally shine. Anabela Moreira embraces the uncanniness of her position with gusto, crafting a personality who’s believably feeble and brittle however has a core of menace that may’t be simply dismissed. Carloto Cotta additionally delivers a wonderful villain in Manuel with a sinewy, bodily efficiency that brings to thoughts a coiled snake getting ready to strike. Nevertheless, Ed is a much less compelling character than his twin, and Cotta appears to search out himself considerably at a loss to search out fascinating methods to carry the extra milquetoast, reactive position to life.

The scenes that really feel most at house within the horror style are too dry and generic to really ship…

Sadly, past the majority of the performances, Amelia’s Kids has little to supply. The scenes that really feel most at house within the horror style are too dry and generic to really ship, and whereas sure interpersonal dynamics shine (particularly any scene that pits Moreira and Lundy-Paine in opposition to each other, using the crackling chemistry the pair have), the remainder of the film is anxious with endlessly unspooling scene after scene of cold melodrama with little connective tissue.

The film’s generic high quality and fundamental competence forestall it from ever changing into a depressing slog. Nevertheless, it has so little to say about household, relationships, growing old, and youth that it is tough to think about why anyone felt this explicit story wanted to be advised within the first place.

Amelia’s Kids
is now out in theaters and on VOD.

Amelia’s Kids

Gabriel Abrantes

Launch Date
March 1, 2024

Magnet Releasing

Gabriel Abrantes

Brigette Lundy-Paine , Carloto Cotta , Anabela Moreira , Alba Baptista , Rita Blanco , Sónia Balacó

91 Minutes

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