‘Stopmotion’ Review: A Surreal Character Study

Stopmotion Review

Thanks to recent releases such as Saint Maud and Censor, we seem to be in a flourishing era of female-led British psychological horror. In a similar vein, the new film Stopmotion stands amongst these pictures as a surrealist contemporary worth exploring. Co-written and directed by Robert Morgan, this movie blends a character focus with a dreamlike vision to deliver an impactful horror experience.

Ella, a stop-motion animator, soon finds her life spiralling out of control after her controlling mother is admitted to the hospital. At the head of the film is Aisling Franciosi. She is supported by Stella Gonet, Tom York and Caoilinn Springall.

Stopmotion is the kind of movie that frequently twists reality in order to capture viewers in a demented realm of psychological horror. In this regard, the picture succeeds in presenting shocking imagery within scenes fueled by surrealist intentions. The film clearly has many layers of meaning, with metaphors aplenty. While certain symbolism is obvious other elements are difficult to dissect. However, with a movie like this, receiving all the answers would be utterly disappointing as psychological horror thrives on post-credit contemplation.

Although the distorted visions of Stopmotion are what many will first take away from the narrative, beneath the surface lies a character study wonderfully performed by Aisling Franciosi. Admittedly, the first act of the film struggles to find its footing but thereafter, the script (by Robert Morgan and Robin King) is able to thrive alongside the surrealist nature mentioned previously.

As the title suggests, an important element of the picture is the art of stop-motion. This style of animation is incorporated throughout and plays a vital part in the journey of Ella. The director, Robert Morgan, is a seasoned professional in the stop-motion space, and his expertise has been implemented superbly here. This addition to the movie makes it exceedingly unique, ensuring that it stands out in a sea of horror releases that will be screened this year.

Shocking and captivating, Stopmotion is a surrealist horror experience that leaves a lasting impression. While it never reaches the high-quality bar of similar British films, Saint Maud and Censor, the movie is still fantastic in its own right. The 2024 horror landscape is already off to a great start, one can hope that the rest of the year maintains this momentum.