SXSW 2021: Here Before (2021) Review

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Andrea Riseborough gives a gripping performance at SXSW as a woman who loses her grip on reality when a new family move in next door in Here Before.

Riseborough plays Laura, a wife and mother whose carefully rebuilt life starts to crumble when she develops a relationship with the young girl next door.

Despite having just moved to the area, Meghan claims to have been “here before”. Recognising places that Laura visited with her deceased daughter, performing similar actions and repeating certain phrases that she couldn’t possibly know.

As the two become closer, Laura becomes convinced that Meghan is, in some way, her daughter come back to her. This belief causes fractions to develop both at home with her husband and teenage son and with Meghan’s parents.

Is it something spiritual or supernatural? Or something more insidious?

Anyone who is familiar with the horror genre can probably guess where the third act is going to go. For it is a well trodden path within the ouevre. However despite the telegraphed ending, the film manages to overcome its potential pitfalls thanks to the performance of Riseborough. She is completed committed to the downward spiral of Laura’s grief. Perfectly capturing a woman forced to deal with the pain of old wounds reopened.

Despite a plot twist that many audiences will feel they have been Here Before, it is still worth experiencing for the powerful central performances.

[Rating;3]

Director: Stacey Gregg
Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Martin McMann, Jonjo O’Neill, Eileen O’Higgins, Niamh Dornan
Runtime: 83 minutes
Country: UK

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