The Binding or Il Legame is an Italian horror film directed by Domenico Emanuele de Feudis and starring Mia Maestro, Riccardo Scamarcio and Federica Rosellini.
Mother’s love and all that
The Binding follows Emma and her daughter Sofia, who travel to her boyfriend’s ancestral house. However, soon after, they are met with a spirit that promises to wreak havoc in their lives.
This movie is everything that horror buffs have seen time and again. It’s not boring and has enough going for it to make it engaging, but it doesn’t set itself apart from its predecessors. The Binding uses all the usual horror tropes to provide a movie that’s entertaining, without becoming too horrific and new.
Emma, on her way to Francesco’s house, is tensed about meeting his mother. She’s old-fashioned, as he mentions, and their impending nuptials mean that she has to form a bond with her. However, as soon as they reach their destination, a tarantula bites little Sofia, which soon turns out to be something no one thought of. At last, it is Emma who must fight against all odds to save her daughter’s life.
The premise is familiar, with variations of it taking place in almost all the horror movies. However, The Binding does not waste much time behind giving life to its characters. Characterisations are so limited that you don’t feel anything for these people when something happens to them. We also don’t understand what the dynamics between all the characters are, and maybe if the creators had decided to put some focus on it, it would’ve been more engaging and thrilling.
However, the cinematography is good, and since The Binding went with creating atmospheric horror instead of relying on jump scares, it’s somewhat thrilling throughout. Although you know what’s going to happen from the first, there’s still a bit of mystery in the air. Set design is nice, and the house passes off as a good location for a horror movie. Moreover, most of the movie takes place mostly in the dark, with dim lights to brighten up the rooms. It’s nice enough and does its job. Ada’s makeup, additionally, was okay, nothing spectacular though.
When it comes to performances, the leads all do their jobs well. Mia Maestro’s Emma is portrayed as strong and resilient, and someone who’d do anything for her daughter. She plays that off well-enough and is believable in her role. So is Riccardo Scamarcio as Francesco. You’d hate him eventually, but he does prove to be somewhat of a good father figure. The supporting cast also does a fine job and you’d believe that these people are dealing with something supernatural for the most part.
The first part of The Binding mostly tries to give us this inkling that something’s wrong with Francesco’s family. However, as soon as the horror is introduced, that takes a complete backseat. What starts off as doubts immediately turns into friendship in a matter of seconds, and I wish they had focused on that aspect of the movie more.
Summing up: The Binding
The Binding is a movie that horror buffs can watch when they are bored and have nothing to do. It’s not the worst thing on the internet, neither is it close to Hereditary. It makes good use of its atmosphere, and mostly holds on to the tension. People who dislike the horror genre can have a good time watching this because it doesn’t go into jump scares a lot, and there’s minimum gore. However, if you’re looking for something heavy-duty to scare the daylights out of you, this definitely won’t suffice.
The Binding is streaming on Netflix.
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