Review: Allure, the generational trauma of abuse

Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone in Allure

Allure, a 2017 Canadian release, recently came to my attention on Prime Video. This is a very disturbing film about sexual abuse and is definitely not for everyone. Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone both provide brilliant, powerful portrayals.

Allure begins with a misfired sex scene between Laura (Evan Rachel Wood) and a guy she wants to keep blindfolded. Then we move to Laura heading to work as a house cleaner.

Laura sees 16 year old Eva (Julia Sarah Stone) playing the piano while she cleans. She immediately stops her work and becomes overly friendly to Eva.

At first it isn’t clear why Laura is so attentive to Eva, but soon it becomes plain that she’s grooming her. Laura gives her alcohol and drugs and eventually convinces her to run from her mother and move in with Laura.

The more we see of Laura, the more we realize that she is truly a messed up individual. She stays drugged and drunk, she recoils when her father (Denis O’Hare), who is her boss, touches her. She keeps Eva trapped in her house in both physical and psychological bonds. And she proceeds to seduce Eva.

Eventually the film reveals why Laura is so messed up and how she’s passing down the generational trauma of abuse to Eva, who will have been ruined by Laura if she ever escapes her.

Allure is dark and dramatic. It shows the mental and physical trauma of generational abuse in vivid detail. It’s horrifying because of its subject matter, and because Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone both do such an outstanding job in their roles.

I think the film may be impossible to watch for some people. If you do watch it, you’re in for some strong material with a powerful message.

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. #EldersRock! Look for Old Ain't Dead on Twitter.

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