Here Before (2021)

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Here Before (2021). Here Before: Directed by Stacey Gregg. With Andrea Riseborough, Jonjo O’Neill, Niamh Dornan, Eileen O’Higgins. When a new family moves in next door to Laura and her family, their young daughter, Megan, quickly captivates her, stirring up painful memories of her own daughter, Josie, who died several years previously.

“SXSW 2021nGreetings again from the darkness. Grief can be the most powerful and dangerous emotion we experience as humans. Anger and joy come and go, but real grief seeps into our marrow and becomes part of our being. Writer-director Stacey Gregg wisely tackles the topic with the assistance of the always excellent Andrea Riseborough (a resume loaded with strong projects) as Laura, a mother who begins to believe that her deceased daughter Josie has been reincarnated as the new neighborsu0026#39; daughter, Megan (Niamh Dornan).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMs. Gregg expertly builds tension and doubt through the filmu0026#39;s first half, and throws a terrific curve ball in the final act … one I kick myself and applaud the filmmaker for not seeing it coming. There is an awkwardness between the two families forced together by a shared dwelling wall. That awkwardness only builds as Laura continually oversteps boundaries when it comes to Megan, who seems to know entirely too many details when it comes to Josieu0026#39;s death.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMeganu0026#39;s parents, Marie (Eileen Ou0026#39;Higgins) and Chris (Martin McCann), are from a different socio-economic class than their neighbors, and the uncomfortable connection extends to Laurau0026#39;s husband, Brendon (Jonjo Ou0026#39;Neill) and son, Tadhg (Lewis McAkie). Whether itu0026#39;s in the front yard, at school, or the grocery story, each time these families cross paths leaves us with weird vibes and feeling more confused. Is something supernatural at play here?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe cinematography from Chloe Thomson is superb, and composer Adam Janota Bzowski is pitch perfect is giving us just enough at the right moments. Set in Belfast, this is a gripping thriller with terrific performances throughout. Stacey Gregg makes it look all too easy with her first feature film.”

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