Relic: Director insights with Natalie Erika James

We speak to Relic writer and director about why she’s named her latest horror film ‘Relic’.

Natalie Erika James - Relic

Following three generations of women as they face a very real terror with the realisation that the eldest, Edna, is suffering from Alzheimer’s, along with the more supernatural horror of a potentially haunted house, Relic is sure to terrify you on a number of levels.

Starring Robin Nevin as Edna, Emily Mortimer as her daughter Kay and Bella Heathcote her granddaughter Sam, this is the debut film from Natalie Erika James.

When Kay and Sam return to the home that has been in their family for generations after being told that Edna is missing, they’re surprised to find the house strewn with reminders that Edna has been giving herself to battle her on-set dementia. From Post-Its to remind herself to turn off various household appliances etc it’s clear that Kay and Sam will have to deal with the very real prospect that Edna will soon no longer be the woman they remember her as.

However, the longer they spend in the old house, the more they realise that there’s something strange going on. Kay is having strange nightmares about her great grandfather’s cabin that used to be on the property. After being destroyed, an old stained glass window from the cabin has been installed into the main house and Kay can’t help but be creeped out by it.

A movie about familial relationships, mental health issues and horror – Relic is a mixture of major themes. But why is it called Relic? We asked writer and director Natalie Erika James to find out more…

“Yeah, Relic was there from the very beginning actually,” she tells us. “It can be read a few different ways on the surface level, there’s a physical relic in terms of the stained glass window, that’s passed down from the great grandfather’s cabin.

“I think for me Relic related more to Edna Herself and this idea of something really loved and precious that was almost from another time. That her time is over in a very sad way. I think the phrase itself highlights the importance, the value. I guess in a sense that it’s precious in a way and can be cared for even though it’s not of this time.”

For more information on Relic, click here for our in-depth discussion about Alzheimer’s, horror and relationships with our interviews with Natalie Erika James and Bella Heathcote who plays granddaughter Sam…

Relic is released in cinemas and on digital HD on 30 October, with previews in Showcase cinemas on 29 October.