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Cupid (2020)



After being horrendously embarrassed by the mean girls at school, Faye, a practicing witch, summons the evil Cupid to take revenge on all those who wronged her. On Valentine's Day Cupid does in fact rise and will stop at nothing until all are punished. The students must figure out a way to stop Cupid and undo the spell before their hearts get broken, literally.

Review

I was really looking forward to seeing Cupid - the driving force behind the production, Scott Jeffrey, has his fingers all over 2017's Unhinged - our film of the year - as well as a good number of other indie films we've reviewed. And it's not a bad film, but not without some issues. But we'll get to those.

The film begins with a backstory of how Cupid becomes an embittered murderer. So far so good. And then an opening kill. A good number of Brit indie's - the micro budget horrors - begin with an opening kill. This one's okay - and does set the tone for the piece. We then cut to an American school and the meat of the rest of the film.

Here we meet the cast - a couple of teachers, our final girl, her bff, and the mean girls (or victims, as we like to refer to them). But no spoilers from here on in, so that's enough plot.

Following stock horror plotlines, the film's plot is okay. It doesn't break new ground, but at it's heart it's a slasher film, and it has as much plot at, say Nightmare on Elm Street. It's paced just fine, and moves from act to act with ease. The dialogue is not perfect, but one of the main flaws of the film accounts for some of that - so we'll give it a pass. The acting for the most part is fairly solid, and does the job for an indie film of this nature.

A major up is the style and direction of some of the kills. There are buckets of blood. BUCKETS. Which is nice. The film is light on scares - at least for this jaded reviewer - but how many slashers are actually scary these days? There's no reliance on jumpscares, which is a plus, and the practical effects are nice to see.

But there are flaws. A couple of minor things, firstly, there are (maybe) three scenes using CG, and they're awful. They're few and far between, and stick out like a sore thumb. Also, there is an animated opening to explain some long historical backstory which is waaaaaay too long. But the largest problem the film has is that it is a Brit production, with Brit actors, filmed in Brit-land, but is set in the US. And it doesn't work. Most of the actors have staged accents - most of whom cannot hold them long enough - and there are lots of visual UK keys - signs on walls, brandings, cars, the list goes on. I get why the film was set in the US (to attract an overseas market, I assume) but there is no in film need for it, and it would have been better without it. (EDIT: A statement from Proportion Productions says: "It’s not set in America. It’s an international school in England.")

While it's a little all over the place tonally, it's not a bad watch.


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