Emily Mortimer says ‘Relic’ is “recognisable and resonant” to anyone that has experienced grief.

Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer

The 48-year-old actress stars as Kay in the upcoming horror movie, which sees her and her on-screen daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) visiting the isolated home of the family’s matriarch, Edna (Robyn Nevin), who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

When they arrive, Edna has vanished, and although she later returns, the family are shocked by her bedraggled appearance as she tells of a malevolent presence that has invaded her home.

And Emily says the movie resonated with her on a personal level, as the feelings of “loneliness and grimness” were similar to those she felt after her father died in 2009 following a years-long struggle with dementia.

She said: “When I was making the movie, so much of it was recognisable and resonant. It was heavy stuff. The loneliness and the grimness of those feelings one has to go through, conjuring it all day long. It made me look at a process I was familiar with from my own life, of helping a parent die.”

Although ‘Relic’ is a supernatural horror, Emily also insists anyone who has experienced loss can relate to the movie, as she says she found it “really comforting” to share the story with others.

She added to The Sunday Times newspaper's Culture magazine: “One of the points of making something, I suppose, is you … What’s that great quote? I think it’s Carrie Fisher: ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’ It doesn’t completely mend it, obviously, but there’s something about retelling a story that’s part of your experience and then you send it off into the world and can talk about it in a more detached way - because it’s not your own story, it’s lots of people’s stories.

“There’s something really comforting about sharing it with people and realising other people have been through similar things. It makes us human.”

‘Relic’ will be released in cinemas, as well as on Amazon, Curzon Home Cinema, iTunes, Sky, Virgin and other platforms on October 30.

Tagged in