Director: Anna Zlokovic | Script: Anna Zlokovic | Cast: Hadley Robinson (Hannah), Kausar Mohammed (Esther), Brandon Mychal Smith (Kaelin), Deborah Rennard (Stacy), Emily Hampshire (Claudia), each | Time to play: 94 minutes | Year: 2023
Appendix It’s a cheap B-movie horror movie, but above all a dark allegory. About adults who walk with an insecurity that arises because from a young age they were taught to have little confidence in themselves, in this case specifically by one of the parents. That’s a bigger danger than most people realize; It doesn’t take much for a child to think negatively about themselves and carry it with them for life.
Hannah has too much stress in her life. She works as a fashion designer for a very critical boss, but what really bothers her are her mother’s underwater spots. One day, she suddenly starts growing something out of her belly: a little monster that feeds on her negative thoughts.
It sounds like a cheap B-movie and, in a way, it is. Appendix that too. The film is marketed, among other things, as a comedy, but this is probably a cover-up: some viewers will laugh at first as soon as the monster appears and starts talking.
But this is not a comedy. It’s also not the kind of horror movie that’s scary; that is never an obligation. This is the kind of horror movie where something supernatural happens and not something fun like a ride over a rainbow on the back of a unicorn. Despite the low budget, it’s a well-made film, with the exception of the horribly cheesy font for the title and names. Adequately portrayed, no one in the cast with terribly bad performances (although with some variation in talent) and good electronic music. And above all, a story with substance.
As a result, some weaknesses are forgivable. Sometimes the message is too obvious. Like the fact that it’s illogical, that Hannah doesn’t immediately go to the doctor at the first sign that something is wrong, and some very silly dialogue, especially between Hannah and her best friend Esther.
The monster itself, fortunately and understandably, did not come from the computer but from a physical doll that would not look out of place in a bad horror movie from the eighties. The more insecure Hannah becomes, the bigger the monster becomes. Those who are not familiar with these types of films or were expecting a horror film that makes you dive behind the couch with suspense, will not like this, but in addition to being well executed, it evokes some nostalgic feelings (especially for those who ever time has Basket case seen since 1982).
Caught in the first half Appendix Not yet, and some moments don’t really seem to make sense. But little by little certain things fall into place and the film demands your full attention. It’s still a film for which there was little money available, so some necessary scenes that would have made for a somewhat smoother ensemble either couldn’t be shot or not enough people interfered with the script to notice the flaws.
That doesn’t matter, because it is impossible to ignore what is being said. Emotional scars, trauma, low self-confidence and above all that voice in our head that tells us that something is not good enough. This is nothing new, but it is well executed. And it is finally proven that a closed door cannot simply be flung open!
Appendix can be seen in Disney+.