Cast: Sophia Woodward, Barbara Eugenia, Matthew Lloyd Wilcox
Writer and Director Monica Demes
There have been successful dramas about vampires in recent years. Movies like Let The Right One In, Only Lovers Left Alive, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night show that these blood suckers have an artistic side that hasn’t been seen since The Hunger back in 83. Monica Demes recent feature Lilith’s Awakening is on the fast track to being on the same list of those modern classic vampire movies.
The plot focuses on Lucy (Sophia Woodward), a woman who works as a cashier at her father’s auto shop. She loves her husband Jonathan (Sam Garles), but is starting to feel trapped by the whole notion of married life. At work she is constantly being harassed by her co worker Arthur (Matthew Lloyd Wilcox) who is in love with her. In one sequence I gathered that something must have happened between these two in the past, but it’s unclear of what actually took place. Feeling somewhat distraught, Lucy begins having dreams of this mysterious woman (Barbara Eugenia) whom she believes is following her and attacking people she knows. One night while walking in the woods with Jonathan, Lucy comes across the same woman from her dreams and is bitten. When she awakes, there are two puncture marks on her neck. Later when she goes to the doctor to be checked, the marks are gone. The mysterious woman seems to represent all the feelings of desire that Lucy has kept hidden for too long. She wants certain things but is afraid of what others may think so she suppresses them. When the movie begins, Lucy is this very shy and docile like creature but as the plot advances she gains more strength and confidence. Was this due to her being bitten or did she have these feelings long before.
Lilith’s Awkening is a visually striking film with some of the best looking cinematography this year. Gregor Kresal and Alfonzo James create beautiful black and white imagery whose stills could be hung at an art gallery. Some people think all movies made today should be in color. I would agree if you are talking about super hero movies. I can’t really see Spider-Man, Deadpool or Batman in anything but color. Wait, I take that back because The Dark Knight could look pretty cool if it was done in black and white. What I loved best about this feature is that both Kresal and James understand that it’s more than just removing color. You haft to know the right balance of lighting and it is much more of a challenge to set up shots and so my up most respect goes to the look of this movie.
The cast was also equally good and I am very interested to see what else Sophia Woodward does with her career. The changes her character felt were genuine and not used to mainly move the plot forward. I found Mathew Lloyd Wilcox as Arthur very menacing and I admire the way you never get any full details on what happened between his character and Woodward’s. It makes that section even more disturbing. There were a few moments where a woman keeps screaming and a guy constantly laughs that felt kind of hokey to me. This is still a really good ensemble and it would be great to see what else Monica Demes can do with a bigger budget.
Lilith’s Awakening was the first feature length movie to be completed under the David Lynch mentor program. Monica Demes had guidance from the Oscar nominated director and it shows. I had feelings of The Elephant Man and Twin Peaks while watching this. Some people will just see this as more of a style over substance film, but I feel that the style is the substance. When we see something strange on screen, it feels the same way to our main character. It’s not just put in there to just show off.
If you would like to know more about this movie and it’s filmmakers. Please follow the links below.
Website – http://www.lilithsawakening.com/
Follow Director Monica Demes on Twitter @MonicaDemes