Sophia (a steel-sharp Catherine Walker) wants to get in touch with her guardian angel — mostly because she failed to be one for her son — so she contacts a gnostic with the last name of Solomon (Steve Oram) to see what it will take in the way of expense, setting, discipline, ritual, knowledge, and oh yes, suffering, to make it happen. Early on in their frequently tense negotiations, Solomon angrily asks Sophia why she’s hiding the whole truth from him. “I thought it would be too much,” she replies. First-time writer director Liam Gavin’s harrowing, mood-heavy tale of blind drive and the possibility, even necessity, of sight might provoke a similar question about its own intentions, and Gavin might offer a similarly cagey answer. Suffice it to say that what feels like a thriller, first psychological and then supernatural, has something else — something not wholly unrelated, but not wholly woven into the film’s workings, either — in its heart of hearts. But what he does show, he shows with style: the adept’s command of arcane esoterica, the room-sized spiritual diagrams, the sawing score. Imperfectly realized, but still worthy of its ambition. (2016) — Matthew Lickona
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