I knew nothing about this movie going in, which is rare these days. I saw the name of the film, and read the IMDb one sentence synopsis and decided just to dive right in. I think that ended up being a blessing and a curse.
The Legend of the Muse is a small film written and directed by John Burr starring Riley Egan as an aspiring artist, Adam, who stumbles across something that may, or may not, be a muse for his art.
I found this film extremely hard to stick with for the first 20 minutes or so. The tone was really all over the place. After the first scene, I really thought that I was in for a classic horror film, full of jump scares and fog machines. Then, we see our main character who is doing a lot of introspective gazing at his art, who then gets recruited as a getaway driver? I was very confused and almost tapped out. Finally, around the 30 minute mark, my interest was piqued, as he meets a mysterious girl played by Elle Evans. I really enjoyed the trance-like love story between Adam and this mysterious girl. She is very alluring and makes Adam, who is kind of a nervous introvert, come out of his shell, but at a cost. This by no means is a horror film, and I even struggle to call it a thriller. It’s really more of a folklore/drama with some gore sprinkled in.
The acting in this movie ends up being all over the map for me. I felt the main character at first was really hard to connect with, as he had basically no lines in the beginning, and Egan’s acting seemed very bored. As the story goes on though, I think he finds his stride in being less bored, and more of a methodical thinker. Speaking of having no lines, Elle Evans has literally no lines in Muse, yet I found her most captivating. Her facial expressions really captured a child like innocence with a possessive undertone. I also loved Max Decker as Hector, the drug-dealer(?). I don’t know if I was just missed it or if it wasn’t explained, but I really don’t know exactly what his dirty business was. At any rate, I thought he played the sexy bad guy that you want to hate pretty well. A few lines in the beginning were a little cringy, but as it went on he really became a great character.
While the story of this film is all over the place and the acting is hit-or-miss, the cinematography was beautiful. It was done by Damian Horan, which is not a name I recognize, but I will for sure keep it in the back of my mind. I was just really wowed by the framing of shots. There were some very interesting choices made that I really appreciated.
The great cinematography alone can’t make the entire film, but it helps. While I wasn’t on the edge of my seat at any point, I’m happy that I finished the film. It had a pretty satisfying ending with a bit of a twist, and enough gore to keep the horror side of my brain engaged. It wasn’t what I expected and I won’t be re-watching it anytime soon, but it can be rented on Amazon for $2.99, and I think it is worth that even if it’s just to support small film makers.