10th Aug2020

‘Legend of the Muse’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Riley Egan, Elle Evans, Kate Mansi, Lou Ferrigno Jr., Max Decker, Jennie Fahn, Phil Abrams, Anthony Ray Parker, Mike Rad, Dave Vescio, Craig Gellis, Declan Joyce, Grant Walstrom, Jeanné Kietzmann | Written and Directed by John Burr

Painting and horror movies do occasionally meet and create something great. Recently Velvet Buzzsaw and Bliss have both been well received while covering the art world and blending it with some weird and twisted horror. Legend of the Muse tries to lead down a similar path.

We meet a painter, Adam (Riley Egan) who suddenly gets inspiration when he meets a ‘mythical and deadly spirit from Celtic lore who becomes his muse and lover’. His artwork starts to get noticed but the spirit brings along a whole host of other problems. Mainly that she murders people and leaves Adam to clear up the mess.

It’s a slowly paced movie that is occasionally kept entertaining by the occasional blood-filled death but other than that sticks to its mental health and love stories. The main problem I had with Legend of the Muse is that much of it feels quite flat. Considering it tries to handle mental health in a realistic way, aswell as showing close relationships, it doesn’t create any real emotion for any of it. None of the characters feel very relatable or complex. And this isn’t the actors faults at all, I’m sure many have them have looked better before and will after in other movies but they are given little to work with here. Egan in the lead does okay but his character is predictable and boring. Elle Evans (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, The Love Witch) is good as the spirit but is slightly limited because the spirit does not speak. While Kate Mansi as Maria, the other love interest, shows lots of promise but the character has nothing about her and there’s no development for any of them.

Alot of the death scenes are annoyingly off screen, I assume for budget reasons because they still cover the screen in blood. And we do get to see one good make-up/special effect for the most gruesome and entertaining death. If the blood wasn’t shown I could of easily believed this was a made for daytime TV production, which may have suited it better.

With all that said, Legend of the Muse does look good. The cinematography and lighting is well done, everything looks nice. In particular, the dreary and drab setting that creates the same kind of mood that fits the films.

The musical score on the other hand does very little. I will give the filmmakers credit for not using the same old music that many low budget horrors use, or even for not using rock and metal when it’s not appropriate. But this choice of music doesn’t work either. It seems to focus on the love part of the film and adds no tension or atmosphere’

The final reveals in Legend of the Muse seem at first obvious but then go another way. But all I could think was that they don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense and the happy ending just added to the made-for-TV narrative.

Legend of the Muse is a half decent watch but it wont be anything you haven’t seen before. The odd splatter of blood is not enough to keep this viewer excited for its ninety minute run time.

** 2/5

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