No Small-Town is Complete Without Esoteric Rites and Ancient Deities
On the latest episode of Dead Talk Live, Viz and Sallie Harmsen discuss the Shudder original horror film Moloch.
Starring as Betriek, Harmsen’s character must navigate an unfolding mystery, attacked one night by an entity on a secluded peat bog. She describes Moloch as a “compilation of folktales,” the Dutch production taking cues not only from the Bible but also a rich history of boogie-men and pagan rites from northern Europe’s past, most notably their legacy of bog bodies.
Director/writer Nico van den Brink and co-writer Daan Bakker build a character burdened by her past, cursed by a supernatural force. This small Dutch town harbors a secret, unearthed bodies pointing to signs of ritualistic murder, one that no one dare expose. “The curse is keeping them there,” Harmsen says, though Betriek must break the vow of silence to learn the truth.
Betriek’s struggle frames the narrative. The story is rich with atmospheric gloom signifying the doom the character cannot escape. “She’s trying to become a person of her own, starting another life.” Family trauma and blood ties play a large role, the spirits of the town clinging to a bloodline, holding the family prisoner.
It’s this concept of hidden family secrets that resonates with Harmsen, and provides a deeper psychological angle driving the plot and characters, a universal theme that strikes far beyond the horror elements. “For me, it’s really about these inevitable things that you give the next generation and pass on whether you want it or not.”
Check out Moloch, it’s airing right now exclusively on Shudder, ad-free and unedited. The entirety of Viz’s interview with Sallie can be seen below if you missed it.
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Thank You, and Stay Walking!
Dead Talk Live (2022)