‘Amulet’ opens the door to an ancient evil

Do not tick off the old gods.

They have a wicked sense of vengeance.

In the new horror film “Amulet” (available on demand on most cable systems), an ex-soldier, Tomaz (Alec Secareanu, “God’s Own Country”) is an ex-soldier haunted by his past.

Something terrible happened during his time minding a lonely outpost in a war-torn land.

Something so terrible, Tomaz duct-tapes his hands together every night.

After the homeless shelter he is staying at burns down, a friendly nun, Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton, “Vera Drake”), invites him to stay in the home of a young woman named Magda (Carla Juri, “Blade Runner 2049”). Magda is the sole caretaker to her dying, elderly mother, who lives on the top floor of this decrepit building and suffers violent outbursts. Magda wears the bruises to prove it.

Sister Claire believes Tomaz could be a good companion to Magda and can help fix up the building in exchange for room and board.

Though skeptical, Tomaz decides to stay.

“Amulet” has a couple of jump scares and gory scenes, but writer/director Romola Garai invokes a deeper horror – one that you will be thinking and talking about long after the credits roll. (You can argue the goriest scene takes place off-camera.)

Secareanu, so fine in “God’s Own Country,” is utterly grounded and authentic as a man trying to atone for his past and getting caught by a force no sane person could ever imagine. He is an actor to follow.

Juri manages to straddle odd and enticing, sometimes in the same beat. Staunton knows how to work her moments onscreen for maximum impact.

“Amulet” has been dubbed a feminist horror film, and the true significance of that description will not be clear until the final scenes.

“Amulet” is simply not like anything you have seen before.

This much I can promise:

You will never, ever look at a clogged toilet in the same way.

Check out the trailer:

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