If ever there were a film that so eloquently captures what all of us wish might happen to the men he commit horrible actions in our society it might just be She Will. She Will is the Martin Luther King “arc of the universe” quote in a 95 minute psychedelic feminist folk horror film. It is breathtaking. Simple solutions are so hard to come by, when we stumble across one it almost seems cosmic in its scope. She Will from first time feature director Charlotte Colbert is a stunning film that manages to contain ninety five minutes of catharsis from start to finish.
The film starts in a resplendent railway cabin as we learn that aging movie star Veronica (Alice Krige) is headed up to the Scottish highlands to heal from her recent double mastectomy. I am sure I cannot adequately describe the nuance and intricacies of that procedure and how that plays out in developed senses of femininity. I will leave that to critics that can speak to some of those ideas personally. Even male critics can understand the injustice in all of it. Veronica seems to internalize all of that conversation, while her body manifests its toxicity. Upon first glimpse, she is hollowed out. Her cheekbones prominent, her gait slow and stiff. She looks sick and that is precisely why her nurse (Kota Eberhardt) is concerned. As Veronica explores the area around her retreat we find out more about the land, the witch burnings around the retreat, and the powerful unexplained natural phenomena. That phenomena seems to empower Veronica while binding the two women together.
She Will only works because of the talent and commitment of Alice Krige. Her growth from sickness to power. From one who has given up on life to embracing the power that she has inherited is nothing short of mesmerizing. Krige maybe known for her more iconic roles, but her performance here is small, controlled, and some how manages to look like a complete metamorphosis. Kota Eberhardt manages to create a nurse that is caring and concerned but one that never feels patronizing. Desi is there to help, but not to baby.
The land of rural Scotland is both beautiful and haunting. We can feel the history in the peat we see so much of. The leader of the health retreat mentions we can taste the peat in the water when the tourists drink it. Before they even know it the land is in the characters bodies helping steer their dreams and directions. Influencing how they view the world, and what outcomes they desire. It is this connection to the older generations that gives it a folk horror patina that works perfectly with the story. When that folk horror is coupled with psychedelia it makes the entire viewing experience hum with connection and import.
IFC Midnight seems to pick a handful of tree and fog movies every year. Some years you get hits (looking at you Pyewacket) some years not so much. She Will is an absolute gem. The film is so stunningly simple that there is power in that simplicity. Why can’t we just stop powerful people who are also terrible people. Their actions taint the world around them where for generations to come. Perhaps its time we let those forces exact some revenge for the victims who have silently had to endure. If only the world were as simple as the Scottish Highlands in She Will.
She Will comes out July 15th in a limited theatrical release. Its a keeper. You should see it. If you want more news out of The Overlook Film Festival check it out.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.