Boy, does 2012’s The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh almost get things right. Writer/director Rodrigo Gudiño’s film is beautifully shot, it’s creepily atmospheric and it doesn’t pander to the youth market. Though it’s just a little…boring. Now, I love a slow paced movie as much as the next man (probably more than the next man), but Rosalind Leigh becomes very repetitive, as we get sweeping camera shots showing the film’s one location over and over and over again.
Gudiño’s chiller begins (and ends) with a voice over by Vanessa Redgrave discussing her frame of mind before her death. We then see her son Leon (Aaron Poole) arrive at the house to take stock and prepare to sell-up. However, during the course of his one night in the gothic dwelling, Leon comes to the conclusion that he may not be alone.
Rosalind Leigh works well as a ghost story, and the film does have genuine atmosphere. Gudiño knows how to construct tension in his one (impressive looking) location. Poole is also decent in the role of Leon, however he’s saddled with a ridiculous and hideous haircut, which makes him look like a member of s ‘90s boy band. That almost sidelined the film for me from the get-go, but common sense prevailed – shame on you, hair department.
It’s the repetitive nature that really lets Rosalind Leigh down. It feels like it would make a splendid 45 minute episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, but it can’t sustain the momentum for its 70 minute running time. I just got bored watching Poole walking around a house for an hour with little happening – no matter how creepy it may be. I felt like I was watching a Dracula inspired episode of MTV’s Cribs. The film needed to be opened up, be it before or after the main story. I would hazard a guess that a fair amount of the budget was spent on the set, so why not spend a bit more time expanding the story? Bring in another character, give Poole someone to bounce off (in an acting sense).Having said that, Rosalind Leigh has a few good scares scattered throughout the movie and the CGI-enhanced demon is also impressive to look at.
I’d recommend The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh to horror fans. It’s well made and creepy, with enough touches of originality to make it worth your time. However, some audiences will find it repetitive and painfully slow.