Noob Reviews: The Binding (aka Il Legame)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is The Binding?
Released last Friday as a Netflix exclusive, The Binding, which is also known as Il Legame in its native mother tongue. Is an Italian horror film in which Francesco takes his fiancée Emma and her daughter Sofia, to see his mum (Teresa) for the first time.
Based in rural southern Italy, what appears as a scenic and beautifully kept estate, home to Francesco’s family for generations - holds many a secret. Whether it be the local rituals and rites upheld by Teresa for the treatment of people afflicted by the spirits. Or a more dark and sinister secret that will return to have its revenge on Francesco and take from him everything he loves.
The film touches upon many interesting topics, from rituals and spirits to demons, nature-based belief systems and how the deeds of one can impact the lives of the many.
What genre would you say the film fits into?
The Binding would definitely fit into the horror genre, but also has touches of a thriller and an absolute shed loads of drama.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can find the film’s listing on Netflix here.
When was The Binding released?
The film was released on the 02nd October this year.
How long is the film?
The film is ninety-three minutes long.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
*** Warning, spoilers ahead! ***
What did you think of The Binding?
Unlike films from the same vein such as The Conjuring. The Possession. And Mama. The Binding is a bit dull when it comes to the majority of the story. In short, a spirit is summoned, the possessed host is able to escape, and the host/spirit combo comes back to torment the loved ones and take everything from the person who tried to summon and control it. With regards to The Binding, this comes in the form of Francesco who has a relationship with a worker at the estate, which leads to her becoming pregnant when he was younger. Francesco panics and attempts a ritual to force the woman to have a miscarriage and lose the child. But instead summons something into the world that possesses her and gives her a wealth of knowledge about occult rituals and the supernatural. Unfortunately for Francesco, the revenge comes many years later in the form of a binding ritual on Sofia, when he brings Sofia and Emma home. That will make the young girl hers and hers alone. As you might be able to tell it sounds like a storyline you have heard a hundred times before throughout many books, series and film.
When it comes to the acting, I thought the acting was quite good but admittedly very cheesy at times especially as you can see many of the twists and turns in the plot coming, and yet they are still very dramatically delivered. I did, however, think Sofia did an excellent job of her solo screen time for a young actress (typically children in horror films annoy me) and Emma played a very strong and independent saviour role towards the end of the film. However, on that note, the ending of the film is very sloppy and disappointing. When Teresa and Emma are forced to fight the possessed lady, Emma enters a state where she is under the demons control and stabs herself in the heart with a pair of scissors and yet miraculously survives. It’s the little details that really let the film down, and if handled differently, this could have been so much better.
Don’t get me wrong, although the above are things that personally bugged me about the film, some people may not be too fussed. The film is an effortless watch, and I would highly recommend watching it in it’s native Italian with subtitles over English dubbed if you did watch it. As having watched both, the English dubbing can be a little out of synch with the actors. Meaning the actors are visibly speaking, and then the English voice acting will kick in a few seconds later.
Overall a decent film that is worth a look if you are looking for a diet horror or horror lite to pass the time. Definitely not in the same league as say The Skeleton Key which has similar vibes, but definitely above average quality compared to some of the other straight to DVD and straight to Netflix/Prime horror productions.
What rating would you give The Binding?
I would rate The Binding as a 3.4 out of 5 bananas.
An interesting film that has some terrific scenes and scrapes the surface of many an exciting topic, but fails to deliver substantial depth or enough unique twists to make it truly stand out from other films in the same genre. You could tell this film had so much potential but was unfortunately unable to deliver in the end and instead became too predictable to keep you on the edge of your seat. And misses out on a heavy dose of jump scares, opting to put them in at predictable times as opposed to out of the blue and unexpected.
Worth a look but not something I can honestly rave about as much as other reviews we have done.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in The Binding and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out on Netflix here.