Final Girls Berlin (2022) review: ‘HERE BEFORE’ is a masterpiece in manipulating maternal instincts.


Haunted by the death of her young daughter, a distraught woman develops an all-consuming obsession with a girl she believes is her reincarnated child.

Writer-Director Stacey Gregg‘s debut feature film is haunting and thoroughly unexpected. Entrenched in grief, Laura feels a kindred connection with the new neighbors’ daughter. When young Megan begins to say things reminiscent of the little girl Laura lost, the grey areas between life and death become more complicated. 

Niamh Dornan as Megan is stunning. What a captivating young lady. Her ability to play each beat is beyond her years. Andrea Riseborough‘s performance as Laura is extraordinary. A woman on the edge of grief and sanity, she brings every ounce of her soul to this role. The chemistry between Dornan and Riseborough is electric. There’s an ease and complexity that keeps your pulse quickened. 

Trauma and deceit are two dominant themes that run through the script. I could not have been more intrigued. Here Before is overflowing with gaslighting and cleverly written twists and turns. Utilizing memory and maternal manipulation, there is no way you’ll be able to guess how this story ends. Gregg had me second-guessing until the final frame. What an intoxicating gem for Final Girls Berlin 2022 audiences.

While features will only be screened in person, the majority of shorts will be available to watch virtually internationally — with tickets available HERE

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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