Expanded from the 2019 short film of the same name, Martyrs Lane tells a deeply personal ghost story inspired by Gothic and Spanish folklore. Ten-year-old Leah (Kiera Thompson) feels her mother growing increasingly distant from her and she doesn’t know why—but she finds answers, and comfort, in a cherub-looking child (Sienna Sayer) who visits her each night and claims to be her guardian angel. But while Leah is desperate for any semblance of clarity, the truth might be too hard to swallow—and her mysterious guardian angel may not have her best interests in mind after all. Writer/director Ruth Platt melds the quiet terrors of ghost stories with the fantastical nature of fairy tales with ease. But the film is at its best when it strikes a deep emotional core—the fear of not being loved by the person who is supposed to love you the most. Martyrs Lane can find itself in familiar territory from time to time, but the film is ultimately propelled by the promise of its compelling young performers. 96 min.

Shudder