Without spoiling, we review “Legend of the Muse”, an award winning fantasy horror movie directed by John Burr, and starring Elle Evans, Riley Egan & Kate Mansi.
Legend of the Muse is releasing on Amazon Prime Video in July 2020, a horror movie about a painter whose life changes after meeting a mythical creature that becomes his muse.
A painter’s life is changed forever when a mythical and deadly spirit from Celtic lore becomes his muse and lover.
Muse, a term, used for an inspiration in the form of a model/person that helps, and inspires an artist to create art. Whether it be a sculptor, painter, or a photographer, if a person has a specialization in human art, then finding a muse is necessary. The horror movie, Legend of the Muse explores the same phenomenon but with a paranormal twist thanks to an Irish folktale creature called Leannán Sí is something you’d probably see for the first time.
Our protagonist, Adam is struggling to make a living as he is a talented yet uninspired painter, and thus his drawings don’t draw the attention of buyers or audience, that’s when he meets a new neighbor from his apartment building, Hector who is an actor and asks Adam to take him to the woods as he doesn’t drive. The actor has to meet somebody in a cabin there and to convince the protagonist, he mentions that the woods might help him to get an inspiration for a new painting which could change his life for better. They go into the woods and things don’t turn out as expected for the neighbor who along with the protagonist try to escape the woods, which forms one of the most exciting sections of the movie.
Somehow escaping the woods, they return to the apartment and this is when things start taking a supernatural turn. We see the troubled protagonist getting into a deeper trouble, while at the same time, starting to get inspiration for his paintings. There’s a female neighbor, Maria (Played by Kate Mansi) from across the apartment, who plays an important part in helping the protagonist & eventually getting into trouble, while her boyfriend Jason seems like a nice character reminding me of Peter parker’s friend from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Valerie, the art gallery owner surprisingly felt like a warm, motherly character that provides guidance and tells us about the legend of the Muse. The lady from the woods, Leannán Sí , who becomes the ‘muse’ is played gracefully by the actress Elle Evans, whose acting skills help to provide the dark tone yet feel calmly beautiful in her stare, and express so many feelings without a single word or a sound being made. She’s brave enough to do the role as it is associated with the nude art genre requiring many bold scenes.
The movie is a horror, thriller, and has action too. The twists, and revelations are unexpected even if sometimes, slightly predictable as the pattern is revealed eventually. Riley Egan’s acting is subtle, and feels very natural, as he reminds me of Tobey Maguire from Spider-Man 1 and then Spider-Man 3, with some characteristics similar to James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2 game. There’s innocence, confusion, and hopelessness in his character which slowly becomes arrogance, ruthlessness and fear as the story progresses. This transition is fluid thanks to the writing, and acting performance.
The music is beautiful, and the sound effects are realistic. Direction, and editing has made some scenes artistic, while the pace helps to make the movie feel exciting as the story progresses. The opening credits & some scenes may remind you of Show Time’s Dexter too, as the special effects and cinematography helps to make the violent, and intimate scenes feel like an art. The ending does justice to the feelings and character of Adam, and the post credit scene along with deleted scenes accompanied by the director’s commentary helps to know more about the story, and provides a clear idea of what happened after the end.
The horror movie is for the mature 18+ audience only as the movie does not hold back when it comes to blood, gore, and violence. The scenes are often unexpectedly violent which adds to the shock effect, and fear value. As the protagonist is a painter with a specialization in human art, it was necessary to show full nudity in many scenes, and besides that, we also see some intimate scenes and suggestive themes as required for the story and character development. Nudity is handled with care, and in artistic way, which often doesn’t feel obscene. There’s strong language, smoking, and alcohol shown in few scenes. However, the mature content is used only as required, and with that, the movie provides a strong unforgettable artistic horror experience for the audience.
Overall, Legend of the Muse is a beautifully made movie about the story of a struggling artist who with help of paranormal force, finds inspiration that eventually makes things better for him as a professional but makes his life a mess. The paranormal aspect is what makes the story a brilliant horror movie that never fails to surprise the audience with its bold scenes delivering the fear that exceeds the expectations. The movie is a must watch for not only horror fans, but also for artists who might relate to the situation of the protagonist who eventually finds the inspiration he desires that changes his life forever.
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About the Creature:
The leannán sídhe (“Fairy-Lover”;Scottish Gaelic: leannan sìth, Manx: lhiannan shee; [lʲan̴̪-an ˈʃiː]) is a figure from Irish Folklore. She is depicted as a beautiful woman of the Aos Sí (“people of the barrows“) who takes a human lover. Lovers of the leannán sídhe are said to live brief, though highly inspired, lives. The name comes from the Gaelic words for a sweetheart, lover, or concubine and the term for inhabitants of fairy mounds (fairy). While the leannán sídhe is most often depicted as a female fairy, there is at least one reference to a male leannán sídhe troubling a mortal woman.
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