One of the most impressive things about Wyatt Michael’s fantasy horror, The Goblin is how minimalistic it is. Yet, it draws you in to the point where all of that is forgotten. Instead the focus becomes on the immense effort put in by everyone to captivate with its dark fantastical fairy-tale.
Set in the 1920s, a young boy named Simon (Robert Levey II) finds himself imprisoned and dealing with his schizophrenic mother. Played wonderfully by Nicole Hargrove, she is a cruel and heartless woman sometimes and loving and kind at others. While her schizophrenia is never openly identified (it is the 1920s after all), it becomes clearer and clearer as the movie goes on.
For Simon it makes for a daily battle where he never knows if his mother is going to feed him or beat him. Which as a viewer makes for an uncomfortable watch.
At first the pair’s relationship is all the focus making you wonder just what exactly is the ‘goblin’ that the title refers too. I began to think that the ‘goblin’ was in fact a name being used to describe Simon’s mother when she was at her most abusive.
Alas, that is not the case as it in fact refers to a literal goblin that appears in Simon’s closet one night. Comforting him and regaling him with folk tales that have a very dark edge. It is this creature that encourages Simon to stand for his mother’s abuse no longer.
Personally, the initial introduction of the actual creature felt disappointing as it took me briefly out of the movie. However, once over the initial surprise and with the plot playing out in a delectably wicked way, it turned out to be something that I enjoyed overall.
Does it look a bit silly? Sure, but it fits the dark fantasy theme perfectly.
The standout memory though are the performances. Robert Levey II does really well as the lead. Rising above his young age to portray an innocence that most will have sympathy for. Whereas Nicole Hargrove is outstanding in her duel performance. You’ll have sympathy for her while also hating her for how she treats her son.
A thoroughly enjoyable movie.
The Final Score - 7/10