Plot: Daniel (Enrique Saldana) is a young boy who has shown extraordinary talents, but not ones that are normally seen. He has telekinesis, so he can move objects with his mind and while his power isn’t that strong, it is a rare gift and his ability attracts quite a bit of attention. Victoria (Maribel Martin) examines him and is impressed with his power, so she escorts him to a remote facility, where he can hone his talent and be around other gifted children. As time passes, David is observed and tested, as are the other kids, to gauge their abilities for some kind of unknown project. The facility turns out to be run by a mysterious cult, who plans to use the mystical powers to forge a ritual, but what role will David play in this strange scenario?
Entertainment Value: Agusti Villaronga’s follow up to the notorious In a Glass Cage, Moon Child is a surreal, nearly ethereal kind of fantasy picture, one that offers a unique, unsettling atmosphere. Moon Child is a cocktail of sci/fi, horror, and fantasy, but blends these elements in a mostly grounded fashion, so it deals with some wild, out there topics, but still seems almost plausible. The horror manifests in an eerie atmosphere more than outright scares and Moon Child is deliberate, with an emphasis on style and mood, so this isn’t a kinetic kind of horror by any means. The narrative is esoteric, but effective and has a good amount of erotica and occult elements, including a breeding scene that is just outright bizarre. The slow pace is bound to throw some viewers off, but I don’t think Moon Child is ever dull, as the slower stretches are used to craft the atmosphere and the visuals alone should keep you interested. That said, this is a movie where you need to pay attention, so those who prefer less demanding cinema might not be as clued in this time around. While not as aggressive and boundary testing as In a Glass Cage, Moon Child is an atmospheric experience that has a haunting presence and fans of offbeat, outsider cinema should appreciate this one.
The strange breeding ritual is the lone source of nakedness, with bare breasts and some full frontal exposure. While Moon Child has some eerie atmosphere, it never veers into full on, traditional horror and violence is minimal. So no blood, but given the approach used and the tone of the material, the lack of the red stuff is never a concern, you won’t even think about it here. Your mind will be elsewhere, busy trying to absorb all of the visuals and undercurrents of the experience. The dialogue is well written, but isn’t the kind of over the top, quotable, or awkward lines we score for here. So don’t be fooled by the low score, this is skilled writing, just not the insane kind of stuff we happen to award points for. Still a point is in order, as the weirdness in some scenes ramps up enough to earn that. Moon Child is an odd cinematic experience, but it is a more subdued, eerie kind of weirdness, rather than crazed, eye popping madness. Still a few points are in order, between the breeding ritual and the rest of the unsettling moments sprinkled throughout the movie.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Cult Epics delivers Moon Child in a lush visual presentation, though of course the Blu-ray version boasts the most impressive treatment. The image looks very clean, with little signs of age or wear to speak of, but also a natural texture that never looks processed. I found colors to be natural and contrast is on the mark, so another great release from Cult Epics here. The extras include a fifteen minute interview with Villaronga, all 32 tracks of the soundtrack from Dead Can Dance, promotional materials, and the film’s trailer.