MOLOCH (2022) 13 reviews of Dutch horror movie – now on Shudder

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Moloch is a 2022 Dutch mystery folk horror film about a woman and her family being hunted by someone or rather something from a peat bog.

Directed by Nico van den Brink from a screenplay co-written with Daan Bakker. Produced by Sabine Brian and Ronald Versteeg.

Thirty-eight-year-old Betriek (Sallie Harmsen) lives at the edge of a peat bog in the North of the Netherlands. When she and her family are attacked by a random stranger one night, Betriek sets out to find an explanation. The more she digs, the more she becomes convinced that she is being hunted by something ancient…


“Do not expect outliers here. The film heads towards the denouement without any surprises. The whole is sufficiently exciting, but it never really gets scary for a moment. Within the genre, Moloch is a fine film to watch, but unfortunately, one that will not stay with you for a long time due to the lack of a unique and individual character.” 6.5/10 De Film Recensent [translated from Dutch]

Moloch has a fairly conventional plot with story beats and a resolution that will have the ring of familiarity to anybody who’s ever seen a horror film based on a folk tale. But van den Brink and his crew bathe this beast in a gorgeous murky gloom that sets the tone. And in Harmsen, he’s cast someone well-suited to let us see Betriek’s lighter moments…” 2.5/4 Movie Nation

” …a psychological drama, in which the supernatural is a metaphor for everyday fears. For motherhood, intergenerational trauma and transmission. Moreover, there is humor: the jenever jug ​​is always on the table […] has enormous crossover potential, it could also charm non-horror fans. It’s scary enough…” NRC [translated from Dutch]

” …not really terrifying for the experienced viewer, but there are more elements that make a good ghost story. Van den Brink’s sense of melancholy imbues his film with deep gloom. He is also an inspired storyteller: a scene in which a legend is revealed is not illustrated with flashbacks (the obvious choice), but with images of a school class performing the story as a play.” Schokkend Nieuws 3.5/5 [translated from Dutch]

Moloch relies more on atmosphere than effects with cinematographer Emo Weemhoff (Take Me Somewhere Nice, Stop Acting Now) making the most of the film’s fog-shrouded settings. The bog’s dark greens and muddy browns contribute to the film’s doom-laden feeling as well. The effects we do get are acceptable. When we finally see Moloch clearly it’s certainly creepy looking but also obviously CGI in most of its shots.” 3.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

“Apart from a slightly sagging third act, Van den Brink keeps his first feature film firmly in the saddle. And if some scenes are not completely convincing (the eerie child and the ghost in the hospital elevator), others (the figure slowly emerging from the morning mist at the peat grave) do so.” 4/5 De Volkskrant [translated from Dutch]

“Van den Brink has clearly taken a good look at The Witch and Hereditary, but gives it completely his own twist, with strong fog images, a lot of psychological depth and an excellent cast (Anneke Blok is chillingly good as Bertiek’s mother). A little too much plot explanation at the end, but it shouldn’t spoil the fun: Moloch makes you long for many more Dutch horror films.” VPRO Cinema [translated from Dutch]

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