Eli Film Review (2019)

Synopsis

A boy becomes trapped in a haunted house while undergoing treatment for a rare disease.

Initial release: October 18, 2019

Director: Ciaran Foy

Budget: 11 million USD

Producers: John ZaozirnyTrevor Macy

Screenplay: Ian B. GoldbergRichard NaingDavid Chirchirillo


My Review

The setting and overall feel of this movie was eerie and mysterious. The filmmakers excelled in creating this atmosphere in every way possible. However, this movie felt like two different contrasting films in one and I felt there were inconsistencies with the story and characterizations.

My biggest complaint about this film was the lack of foreshadowing and clues given. Up until the last 30 min of the movie I thought the movie had a psychological approach of Eli’s mental state, and whether or not he was actually seeing things. I did not see the ending conflict of spirituality, nuns, and the devil coming into play.

The only foreshadowing I really saw was the disconnect between Eli and his father, making it apparent that their is some kind of strain on their relationship. It was also apparent that Eli’s mom was overly religious and that there was something off about the young girl who came to visit Eli. However, it was really hard to put these clues together in order to decipher the plot twist at the end of the film and it still totally comes out of nowhere.

The main inconsistency within the characters I found was the mother’s choice in trying to get Eli to leave toward the end of the film. She clearly is not aware that the Dr. will most likely kill her son in the third phase of her plan, but she transitions from desperately getting him to leave to convincing him to stay, and then helping him leave again. It was just too back and forth for me and didn’t stay consistent to the plot and her development as a character.

This film also had a lot of references to other well- known films. For example with Eli’s name being lie spelled backward I got very strong Shining references. And the whole plot twist of Eli being a spawn of Satan reminded me a lot of Rosemary’s Baby. Which felt a little predictable and unoriginal.

The camera work and transitions between shots was very visually pleasing, and I really enjoyed watching this film from a production standpoint. I really liked the use of mirrors and spirits to create an intense feel of suspense, and it definitely had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Overall, this wasn’t a bad film and all of my issues with it are plot centered.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5


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Hereditary (2018) Review

Synopsis

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.

Initial release: June 7, 2018

(Russia)Director: Ari Aster

Screenplay: Ari Aster

Nominations: MTV Movie Award for Most Frightened Performance

Awards: Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress, Bandung Film Festival for Imported Film

My Review

I have always been a tremendous fan of Ari Aster’s films, becuase of their ability to create suspense and leave a psychological impact on the audience. After watching Midsommar, I had high expectations for this film, and it left me slightly unimpressed. There was a loss of mystery in this film, and I found the plot was predictable at times. However, the film is very well made from a production standpoint.

Unlike Midsommar, there were times this film was not subtle enough in its clues. For example, as soon as they showed the doormat at Joans door step, and Annie stated that her mom used to make mats just like that I knew there was a connection between the two. Since I knew the film focused around Pagan rituals, I knew the two were related, and that Joan was up to no good. While I could not fill in all the missing details of what was going on. Enough information was spoon fed to me I didn’t really pine to figure out the answers.

The one scene that had me holding my breath in suspense, was Charlie’s death scene. I did not see that coming, and it was definitely heartbreaking to watch. However, the only other time throughout this film that I felt this way was when Steve throws the sketchbook into the fire. All the other climatic scenes did not fully have my attention. Especially any scene that involved floating.

When Peter wakes up in bed near the climax of the film, and his mother Annie clinging to the ceiling it terrified me. However, when she began floating around, it looked so fake to me I couldn’t take it seriously.

I loved the parallel of the model doll house in the film, and I wish they would have done more with it. It definitely created a sense to the audience that they were looking in on “dolls” living their life, in which they have no control in the events transpiring. I really liked this, and it made me sad they didn’t go further with it.

My favorite thing about the film was the camera work, lighting, and set design. It was truly a beautiful film to watch and they clearly put a lot of thought behind every tiny detail. The acting was also phenomenal. In fact, I forgot I was watching a bunch of actors on screen. The actor’s performance definitely made up for the lack of investment into the plot and storyline for me.

Overall, the plot of this film was unique and creative. I had a hard time getting invested into the film and I wasn’t too eager to figure out what was going on. I was just watching the film, and so I missed out on the psychological impact of the movie. However, I would watch the film again to see if there were any tiny details or symbolic meanings I missed.

My Rating

6 out of 10


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