Hoard - Review (London Film Festival 2023)
I'm Ashamed of Us. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Luna Carmoon.
The shimmering memories of Maria's past that she once suppressed as a child begin to haunt her.
Hoard begins as a claustrophobic family drama - chaotic but full of heart and warmth. But it's not until the film leaps years into the future that Hoard's message becomes clear as an unrelenting look at the hereditary impact of mental health.
This debut by Luna Carmoon is one of the boldest I've seen in years. Its choices don't always land with the intended impact but it makes them with a confidence and vibrancy that keeps you held tight. Saura Lightfoot Leon and Hayley Squires give committed performances as their relationship and influence on each other make for the film's central driving force.
The narrative does begin to unravel the longer it goes on, leaning into moments of shock value that would have hit stronger with a tighter structure. Especially when Joseph Quinn arrives, it becomes lost in what it's trying to say.
An important story that takes a lot of swings in its execution. Likely to be decisive but I found there were certainly more pros than cons amongst Hoard.