“Gods of Perdition” is a horror film that takes it visual narratives from the Japanese Yokai films from the 60s as well as Italian filmmaker Dario Argento’s signature cinematography from his best known horror films. The story follows a young girl named Luly who is the child of recently divorced parents, Damien and Grace. Damien has very little access to his daughter as per the divorce decree. With the separation between he and Luly, this causes a demonic creature named Paradise to visit her and fill her head with the idea that the people she’s convinced have taken her dad away must be put away, or killed. Because of the whispers of the infamy regarding Paradise and similar creatures known as Jugulars, Damien seeks out help and hears of the legend of Hail, a similar type creature who is also the enemy of Paradise. In order for Hail to fight for the cause, both Damien and Grace must put aside their differences, agree to work together for Luly’s sake and fight the forces of evil using Luly as an avatar for bloodshed.
“Gods of Perdition” is the first horror film from director Alberto Martinez since 2004’s “Solomon’s Requiem,” and his first special effects film since 2006’s “Hangman’s Noose.” The idea of exploring the true horrors of parental alienation and its effect on a child caused Martinez to explore the possibility of contextualizing it into a horror film and bringing awareness in the public eye of this issue, a largely ignored issue. The vulnerability of a child exposes him or her to the vilest of influences when both parents are compromised in the child’s role. This is the backdrop in which Paradise, Hail, and other Jugulars inhabit, engaging in a battle for the lives of children with bloody consequences.
The strength of the film lies in the talents of the actors, as well as both the incredible music and special effects associated with the monsters in the film. On the surface is a creature feature meant to entertain the viewer, but beneath it is a sombering reminder that the horror of parental alienation and the uncertainty that exists within a child is a real horror that is not resolved in an hour and a half. As a matter of fact in quite a few tragic cases in real life, it is a horror that never finds a resolution. For many children, they never truly recover from having their childhoods taken away when one parent is removed from their lives. It is a horror that we as a society should hope to deal with in a positive manner, in a timely manner, and with a true solution that ultimately deals with forever solving the crisis of parental alienation.
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