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Eli (2019)

A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he's living in isn't as safe as he thought.


Well. Directed by CiarĂ¡n Foy (Sinister 2), Eli is a horror film of a couple of angles. I went in clean, I'd vaguely seen the trailer (on Netflix, the trailers can be hit of miss as to whether you get a whole trailer, part trailer, or just a random clip of the film), and I knew nothing of the content. And that's the way to see it. The vast majority of the film plays out as you'd expect from the trailer / synopsis. It's pretty standard horror fare. It is well acted for the most part - lead Charlie Shotwell (Captain Fantastic) does well for a young actor, Max Martini (Pacific Rim) does a good job, it's only Kelly Reilly (Eden Lake) as flapping mother Rose that lets the side down - and Reilly can be a bloody good actor - just a bad day at the office I guess.

I still have reservations about how the film plays out, however. The writers, David Chirchirillo (Cheap Thrills), Ian Goldberg (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), and Richard Naing (Fear the Walking Dead), have good pedigree, but the film skews dramatically into hitherto unforeshadowed grounds at the end of the final act.

To say the ending of the flick is bizarre is an understatement.

It leaves me with this: At the midpoint of the third act the film is good, but not scary per se. It's different enough to hold attention, but nothing new - if that makes any sense. Then the twist occurs. Like most generic horror the incoming twist is signposted heavily - and we all know it's coming. It's just so left field it could literally have been anything. It reminds me of the film that unmasks the killer at the end and it's a character who hasn't been alluded to before. Then the credits roll, and I'm left with, that was interesting, but didn't really hold together.

Should you watch it? It's well made and passes the time, but it's not a scary film in any way.

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