CORDELIA is a psychological horror-thriller that has a lot going for it. Well, at first, anyway. Ultimately, it loses too much momentum for me and – despite a runtime of just 91 minutes – feels too long. Also, I can’t buy key parts of the plot. Read our full Cordelia movie review here!

CORDELIA is a psychological horror thriller starring its co-writer Antonia Campbell-Hughes. During the first half-hour or so, I was intrigued and curious. Then I became impatient and was continuously confronted with elements of the story that I just did not buy.

Obviously, this becomes a problem fast. Also, even though the movie is only around one and a half-hour in runtime, it was too long for me. It feels like a strong short film is in there somewhere, but has been overrun by the desire to make it a feature-length film. Finally, I do have some huge issues with the look of the main character, which I feel should have been acknowledged.

Continue reading our Cordelia movie review below.

Antonia Campbell-Hughes stars

You know how there are actors you adore, actors you’re usually indifferent towards, and also actors that just don’t really work for you?! Well, for me, Antonia Campbell-Hughes falls in the latter category which is obviously an issue. However, during the first part of the movie she worked pretty well for me.

Then the plot evolves and I am more irritated and annoyed than engaged. Another key role is played by Johnny Flynn (Beast) who tends to be good. However, I can feel that both Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Johnny Flynn fall into that unfortunate last category for me here. My issue with these actors is that I don’t see the character they play. So, I see the actor more than the character.

Oh well, it’s my issue, I know. But, for the purpose of reviewing Cordelia, it affects my overall impression.

Fortunately, we also have Joel Fry (In the Earth), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter franchise), and Catherine McCormack (28 Weeks Later) in the cast. Well, each of them for only seconds or minutes, but yes, sure, they are there and do all have lines.

Cordelia (2019) – Review

The elephant in the room…

I hate talking about any actor’s weight and yet, I find myself doing just that now. In fact, I feel I have to mention it because it is very distracting and makes the movie feel like it was made 20 years ago. For me, the very low weight of star Antonia Campbell-Hughes should have been addressed for it not to be a distraction.

To be exact, obviously, the weight of the actor shouldn’t be mentioned, but rather it should have been a big talking point for the character. Now, it could easily have been worked into this particular plot since the main character is battling with overcoming severe trauma. However, then there’s the issue of Antonia Campbell-Hughes playing two characters, which makes that point rather impossible.

Again, it just does not work for me that it isn’t talked about. Particularly since this actor did lose a lot of weight when she portrayed Natascha Kampusch in the 2013 movie 3096 Days. Back then, it also sparked worry and controversy. Particularly after she showed up on a red carpet in very revealing clothes which showed more bones than flesh.

However, the actor said in interviews that it was for the role and that she could easily put the weight back on. Well, years later, those remarks sound dangerously like an eating disorder. And, in a world where various eating disorders (and demands on women to be dangerously thin), it is a huge issue. And as such, I do feel that I have to spend way too much time addressing it when it isn’t in the movie.

Watch Cordelia in theaters or On Demand

Adrian Shergold is the director behind Cordelia which he also co-wrote with Antonia Campbell-Hughes who is the actor playing the title role. Previously, Adrian Shergold has directed a whole slew of both movies and TV series, so he is a very experienced director.

Antonia Campbell-Hughes had also written for a few short films and continued to write for more after this one (which premiered at film festivals back in 2019. Up next for Antonia Campbell-Hughes is the movie It Is In Us All (2022) which she has written and directed. It’s her feature film debut and since Claes bang (The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Dracula) is in the cast, I am yet again curious to watch it.

Overall for Cordelia, I will say that I liked the surprises that are revealed towards the ending of the film. However, I do not understand why it had to be kept secret for too long. There’s something in the construction of this plot and mystery that just doesn’t work well for me.

Cordelia is out in theaters and On Demand from May 20, 2022.


Director: Adrian Shergold
Writers: Adrian Shergold & Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Cast: Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Johnny Flynn, Catherine McCormack, Joel Fry, Michael Gambon


Cordelia (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), a young woman living in London, meets her mysterious and alluring neighbor Frank (Johnny Flynn) for the first time but quickly becomes suspicious of his motives. With her twin sister away for the weekend, Cordelia is left alone and overcome with paranoia. She begins to unravel and sink back into past traumas the more that Frank tries to charm his way into her life, becoming a danger to herself and others.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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