“Amelia’s Children”, a rare Portuguese fantasy film, classic, beautiful and disturbing

If we have little news from Portuguese cinema, this film of demonic possession happily reconnects with the fantasy of the 1970s.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial


Reading time: 2 min

Brigette Lundy-Paine in "Amelia's Children" by Gabriel Abrantes (2024).  (2023 ARTIFICIAL HUMORS)

Portugal is not Spain, but Madrid experienced a golden age of fantasy cinema in the 1970s, which Gabriel Abrantes’ film brings to mind Amelia’s Children which comes out Wednesday January 31. With the subject of demonic possession, a haunted house and a beautiful incubus (male demon), Amelia’s Children honors his pact.

Orphaned, Edward discovers as an adult that he has a twin brother and a previously unknown mother. He leaves with his girlfriend Ryley for their large home lost in the middle of the woods. But once welcomed, their hosts, Edward’s family proves threatening. Carrying a heavy secret, her aims target Riley, while the house becomes distressing, inhabited by occult forces, soon to be incarnated.

Amelia’s Children revisits the satanic theme in the continuity of Rosemary’s Baby (1967), from The Exorcist (1973) and The curse (1976). Extremely careful in its craftsmanship, the film is a beautiful piece of work, in line with the best productions of these prosperous years. He skillfully mixes Satanism and haunted house, creating moods and atmospheres with dark lights, to pour the more he progresses into the monstrous and the gore.


Sensitive souls therefore refrain. After a dramatic comedy (Diamentino), Gabriel Abrantes skillfully juggles with the codes of fantasy. It assumes its classic style, but slips in the theme of incest or that of plastic surgery, and suggests in the subtext a state of the world under tension. The same thing was said about The curse by Richard Donner in 1976, about Watergate.

Amelia’s Children meets what the fantasy lover expects, by remaining in a tradition, without taking itself too seriously. He plays with a humor that gives the film a unique tone. Respectful of a progression full of suspense and tension to introduce the supernatural, then the monster film to end in gore. Reviewing three trends in fantasy cinema in a single film, we recognize in Amelia’s Children the touch of an amateur of the genre.

The poster of "Amelia's Children" by Gabriel Abrantes (2024).  (THE PACT)

The sheet

Gender : Fantastic
Director: Gabriel Abrantes
Actors: Brigette Lundy-Paine, Carloto Cotta, Anabela Moreira
Country : Portugal
Duration : 1h31
Exit : January 31, 2023
Distributer : The pact

Prohibited for children under 12 years old with warning

Synopsis: Orphaned since birth, Edward discovers as an adult that he has a twin and a mother he does not know. With his girlfriend Ryley, he goes to meet them in their magnificent isolated home in the heart of a secluded region. After the reunion, the young couple realizes that appearances are deceiving: Edward’s family is hiding a monstrous secret. Their visit will turn into a nightmare…

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