Good independent horror films are hard to come by these days especially considering how many derivative films are produced every year so it is always good when an excellent film surfaces such as The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012). Written and directed by Rodrigo Gudino this is a moody and atmospheric film that’s haunting in its simplicity and execution.
The story concerns Leon Leigh (Aaron Poole), an antiques dealer, who inherits a house from his estranged mother. When he goes home to appraise his inheritance he discovers a past in himself that he had tried to keep buried but resurfaces underneath the strange revelations about his mother who may have been part of a mysterious cult. The longer Leon stays in the house the more the house takes on a persona of its own that will have a profound effect on his psyche.
Poole does an amazing job as the haunted Leon as he carries most of the film on his own because of the small cast. This is a film in which Leon and the house is very much the characters that carry the story. Much of what we get about Rosalind Leigh is brought to life via voice over from the always charismatic Vanessa Redgrave who narrates much of the story in a hypnotic and haunting way. Gudino and his production staff do an excellent job creating a chilling atmosphere of dread that permeates throughout the whole film.
Despite the film having no overt horrific elements the film is a great film in the tradition of the original The Haunting (1963) which it relies on mood and atmosphere verses actual blood and guts to carry the story.
This film also doesn’t rely on cheap theatrics or jump scares which further elevate the film above the other cannon fodder out there. Fans of the moody and atmospheric horror film will enjoy this slow burning character driven film.