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Philophobia can be a powerful thing and consume your waking soul to the point of constant rejection of any would be partners. Perhaps it’s the fear of being rejected yourself, or that the fear itself is so overwhelming that you feel constricted and lose any sense of your own identity.

Sometimes the anxiety levels can run so high that you begin to question everything and you’re already deemed a bit quirky or a loner, so why break this habit?

Or this loss of control leaves you amped up and fueling a violent relationship that could potentially put you or your partner at risk.

All these things become moments of scrutiny in Gabriel Bier Gislason’s feature Attachment. Guiding this area of focus is a Danish has-been actress Maja (Josephine Park), who has a chance encounter with Leah (Ellie Kendrick, who eagle-eyed viewers may recognise as Meera Reed from Game of Thrones).The attraction is instant with that early flicker of awkwardness which soon becomes embroiled in lust. 

Then there’s those little clues, hints that something is awry, like when Leah starts walking around in her sleep. Or when she has a mysterious seizure that leads her to returning home in London. Still driven by this desire, Maja follows Leah to England where she is greeted by a strange and overbearing mother, Chana (Sofie Gråbøl). 

As the days pass, the curiosities rise. Is this just a case of an overprotective and smothering parent, but is there more lurking beneath the surface. Why are there so many secrets being held, and who is this Uncle Lev figure? (David Dencik). 

The film plays heavily into the realms of xenophobia, tapping into the unknown. As an outsider, Maja constantly questions with genuine curiosity whether the devout Jewish practices are what segregates and isolates her from finding the true connection with Leah, or is there an occult operation at play? If it’s the latter, then  is there a greater fear to be had? And who is the one that is really needing the protection?

The biggest question is will Maja be willing to go to extreme lengths in order to pursue love?

The Prognosis:

There’s some great performances to be found here, in what is essentially a straight down the road piece. The twists and turns that the audience face are navigable and in some cases predictable. Despite the road ahead seemingly transparent in places, the talent on show and the depth of character is weighty enough for you to be carried along to its final destination.

  • Saul Muerte

Attachment is currently streaming on ShudderANZ.