A painter’s life is changed forever when a mythical and deadly spirit from Celtic lore becomes his muse and lover.
Written and directed by John Burr and starring the talents of Riley Egan, Elle Evans, Kate Mansi, and Max Decker, Legend of the Muse is a refreshing fantasy horror that combines art, senseless violence, and intense sexual energy. It is a beautifully crafted film that is both sensual and suspenseful, drawing in the viewer from its action-packed start to its satisfying conclusion.
Adam is the antithesis of the artists that I grew up around. His personality is more in line with that of the accountants that lived across the road. He has no spirit; none of that drive, passion or danger that lives just behind the eyes of the artist—the glint of the creative soul. He’s boring, dull, and introverted. While not usually a character I’d go with when creating a film about an artist, Adam really fits the bill for Legend of the Muse. Sadly though, actor Riley Egan never quite grows into the role or comes out of his shell, his character not really evolving in personality. Sure, he gets laid and paints well…he just blacks out while doing it and keeps that accountant demeanour throughout.
Adam is chosen by the Leannán Sí, a muse of Irish Folklore. She picks him due to his mild-mannered nature as she intends to make his soul burn bright—to draw out the artist that lies within through raw, carnal delights.
The Leannán Sí (Elle Evans), in contrast to Adam, amazes from her first scene. From blinking around the forest to seducing in showers and tempting in tapestries, she embodies an eternal entity from first glance, speaking volumes without saying a word. It’s hard to put into words how in control she is of her amorous charms but words like temptress and seductress would work if they were somehow blended with innocence and avarice. I know it sounds like I’m gushing but I haven’t been this impressed with a mostly mute role since Delphine Chanéac’s Dren from Splice (2009). Evans killed it…pun intended.
The story is also well developed, with interesting sub-plots and side characters that are more than just your usual stereotypes. There’s a lot going on but it is all handled really well, not detracting from the plot but rather adding layers to the tale. The art, in particular, is quite beautiful. I’d love to have a few of those pieces hanging on my walls.
Technically, there was nothing to fault. Everything from the sound editing to the special effects were great. The sets, the cast, the score, the art…everything was on the ball. I suppose it does help that creature features are my favourite kind of horror and this was technically a creature feature but with a creature that most wouldn’t mind getting eaten by.
I do need to mention both Kate Mansi and Max Decker, both of whom were great in their roles as Maria and Hector respectively. Decker makes for a great hard-ass and Maria more than held her own as the alternative love interest…or perhaps as the threat.
Legened of the Muse pushes the envelope, takes a few chances, and tries to be something different—an artsy horror creature feature with a sexy twist. Sure, the succubus trope has been around for ages and was quite popular a few decades back, but this just felt like a fresh take on the genre. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and poster below. DarkCoast released the feature onto Amazon this July: https://amzn.to/3gLn6WR. Definitely give it a watch.
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