Spoilers would leave town.
Folk horror is not my preferred subgenre. Its content is buried deep into lore which is often unfamiliar. Despite the risk, when done well it should strike a basic nerve. The unfamiliar becomes familiar. Rather than bringing darkness in, folk horror can draw it out. Perhaps this depends on your personal relationship with your ancestry or growing up close to the elder sides of your family, but cultures with older history always blur the line between tradition and superstition.
Moloch (2022) was directed by Nico van den Brink. Betriek (Sallie Harmsen) lives out in the wild, close to a peat bog in the north of the Netherlands. She shares a house with her parents Elske (Anneke Blok) and Hans (Jack Wouterse) and her six-year old daughter. A member of an archaeological team from a nearby excavation site, shows up at Betriek’s place. Seemingly deranged, the man attacks her and her family. Betriek seeks out answers with the team’s leader, Jonas (Alexandre Willaume). Something has been set loose in the bog and Betriek has figured her family seems to be its target.
This one is a slow burn. It is obvious to the audience from the start that the dig is connected to what’s going on, so much so that it plays down how much the inhabitants of Betriek’s household are connected to the legend. We eventually do get a exposition of the local legend via a children’s play, which I found very inventive. This one of those rare films in which the last act is better than the previous two, with things barely moving along until we get close to wrapping up.
Recommended to folk horror enthusiasts with reservations. Slow burns always need something to tide you over, and although I’d say the payback is hefty I would prefer a few more morsels along the way. That being said, I’m sure it will find an audience that appreciates the buildup. As folk horror films go, it does have a fully satisfying finale. Worth a watch for the right moviegoer.
That will do for now.