As soon as the cast of Natalie Erika James’ “Relic” read the script for the horror film, they were all on board.
“The script was just extraordinary,” star Bella Heathcote told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven at the Sundance Film Festival. “It just seemed so strange that no one had made a horror film about Alzheimer’s before and I needed to be a part of it.”
Emily Mortimer, who plays Heathcote’s mother in the film, added: “It didn’t read like a horror film. What was exciting about reading the script was that it just felt like a really good script — you weren’t thinking of the genre of it… it just happened to be a horror film but it was a film about people and relationships and death and it was just so brilliantly done, and just a no-brainer especially when you meet Natalie and talk to her about her ideas and visions for the film.”
Robyn Nevin, who plays the grandmother of the family, who is haunted by a manifestation of dementia, agreed.
“The dialogue brought out life the relationship between the three women, and that’s what I thought was so truthful and so subtle and it held such a depth of history,” she explained.
James actually had the idea for the film based on her own experience with her grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. “A lot of the film comes from my observations of her, her deterioration and her changing relationship with my mother. The start of it was a trip I took to Japan to visit her and it was the first time she couldn’t remember who I was, so there was a lot of feeling of guilt of not having gone to see her earlier and she also lives in this creepy, traditional Japanese house, so the combination of those two things started off the film.”
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