|THE LULLABY (SIEMBAMBA) (director: Darrell Roodt; screenwriter: Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo; cinematographer: Justus de Jager ; editor: Leon Gerber; music: Alun Richards; cast: Brandon Auret (Dr. Timothy Reed), Reine Swart (Chloe van Heerden), Thandi Puren (Ruby van Heerden), Deanre Reiners (Adam Hass), Dorothy Ann Gould (Midwife), Samuel Frauenstein (Man in Car); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andre Frauenstein Snr, Samuel Frauenstein; Uncork;d Entertainment; 2018-South Africa-in English)|
African psychological horror film with
enough creepiness to satisfy fans of the
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Released on VOD. South African director Darrell Roodt ("The Stick"/"City of Blood") helms this South African psychological horror film with enough creepiness to satisfy fans of the genre. It's ably written by Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo.
The nineteen year-old Chloe van Heerden (Reine Swart), a runaway as a teen, returns to her hometown, Eden Rock, where she tries to deal with the birth of her first born. Chloe remains depressed over motherhood and being single, despite the now loving support from her estranged mom Ruby (Thandi Puren), who drove her away because she was so bossy. But she can't handle the cries of her son Liam. A mixture of guilt and paranoia develops, as she starts to hear voices and the humming of a children's lullaby. She also sees a strange entity around her child, who urges her to kill her child. Convinced that what she is seeing is real, the out-of-sorts Chloe is prepared to do anything to protect her baby. We wonder if this evil entity is real or does she need psychological help, or is she just going through a bad time that will pass? The film answers these questions through a series of flashbacks that bring on the bloody climax. It results in an adequate horror pic that gives us a few old-fashioned horror jump scares and the prerequisite horror pic gore.
For a low-budget indie the special effects and production values are fine. The acting by Swart is convincing. Though a minor film, it has something to say about a young, insecure mother who is losing it and needs professional help. It's not a bad film.
REVIEWED ON 2/20/2018 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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