‘Here Before’ (2021) | SXSW ’21 | Movie Review

‘Here Before’ stars Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother Laura that begins to question her life after new neighbors, a young girl about her child’s age and her parents, move in next door. This girl and Laura share a weird bond, as she decides to take her home from school and have her for dinner, but what is drawing Laura to this girl, grief or something that is infecting Laura’s mind? This trippy drama about grief places Riseborough in the lead where she belongs, and I had a good time watching it!

As the film progresses, certain things relating to the child leads Laura to believe she could be some type of reincarnation of her deceased child. That mixed with her grief causes her mental state to spiral out of control as she grapples with the idea her daughter is somehow still living. Andrea Riseborough’s performance is haunting, real, and heartbreaking. The directing and editing of the film gives it a great tone and pace in a easily digestible 1 hr 30 min runtime.

Before the third act begins to reveal himself, you are caught up in suspense with a scene that is really well built. The set locations are beautiful and show a side of Ireland i’ve never seen before. especially the wide city shots. The supporting cast also do a good job of reacting to Laura’s character as a family watching a loved one go mad.

The cinematography could be described as Wes Anderson from hell (but in a good way). So disturbing but well framed shots that evokes a guttural disturbed sensation you can’t really describe. Once the ending is revealed your entire mind is mindfucked and because of that it’s easily one of my favorite films from SXSW this year.

Overall, ‘Here Before’ is a mind trip, Andrea Riseborough is astounding, and this is a surreal look at grief, and what people will do when having to confront it.

Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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