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Eli Quick View A Below Mediocre Horror Film Saved by a Solid Twist Grade: C-

Source: IMDB


Eli is the latest horror film from Netflix and surprisingly... Paramount Players Production company?! Wasn’t expecting that. Anyways tells a story about a young child named Eli (Charlie Shotwell), whom can not have his body exposed outside or his skin will start to burn, sort of resembles Everything Everything, Bubble Boy etc. Eli goes to this facility, which looks like a haunted house, where he gets acquainted with Dr. Horn (Lilli Turner). Dr. Horn established this health facility three years ago, curing people like Eli’s health condition. Eli will go through some brutal medical procedures and along the way he’ll encounter ghosts children... Well then. Discover the twisted dark truth Dr. Horn and this facility is up to, regarding children of Eli’s condition. When I say twisted... I mean twisted. Eli comes from the director Ciaran Foy, which his recent film is Sinister 2. Not a bad sequel to the first Sinister film, there was a good movie in there somewhere, just was out of order resulting in a mediocre sequel. I can almost say the same with Eli: Not a good film it does feel a bit jumbled, but still maintains to be a watchable mediocre horror film. The strength of this film happens to be the twist, I don’t think anyone was expecting the way this film unfolds in the third act. It actually makes you change your entire perspective on the entire film, previous complaints I have with the film suddenly change. Like regarding the film lacking in depth with Eli’s father becoming more drained by the process of Eli’s condition, as it’s draining him emotionally and financially. With the twist it becomes apparent as to why they never go in depth. I would spoil my complaint with the twist, but it would basically butcher the viewers experience with the film, but yes I have only one complaint about the twist as it makes the story quite confusing. I actually like the set design and cinematography of this film, it reminds me of The Cure for Wellness in a way, which is quite coincidental because both films deal with a facility curing the ill. The cast was fine as a whole, nobody really had a strong performance, but nobody had a poor performance either... Well Eli’s dad played by Max Martini had the weakest performance in the entire film. While referring to the twist becoming the biggest strength the film has, I also thought the third act was pretty cool at parts. Only complaint with the third act would be a supporting character delivering a very corny line, like really? Other than that yeah it was pretty rad. So here comes my complaints with the film. Majority of the story line was pretty meh for my taste, before the twist came it was looking like a D+ graded film. The film kind of irritated me in a way for a good portion of it, I kept having problems with the way this story was being told. Like was there really a point in beginning the film off, having a scene where hillbilly rednecks giving Eli a hard time due to being in an anti germ jump suit?! I already feel sympathy for him already, when he’s in his own home he’s in a cube glass chamber, I don’t need to have a cliche scene where people out in public make fun of him because he’s different. I’m sorry: I HATED Sadie Sink’s character Haley, oh my God why was this character in this film?! Her purpose was immediately explain to Eli that the house is sketchy, Dr. Horn is sketchy, basically explaining Eli and the audience what we already are feeling off this facility. Did we really need this character?! Why can’t Eli go through the motions himself? Why can’t he develop an understanding from experience, that this place is sketchy on his own? Seriously I feel this character is unnecessary and when she becomes necessary in one scene, it still felt like a poor mans excuse to have this character’s existence in the film. Also when we come to learn what Haley is, why is there a lack of security in this facility?! I mean Haley should be nowhere near this house, feeding Eli this information, that’s what Dr. Horn wouldn’t want but I guess they don’t care?! If they played Haley as a character with no dialogue, as Eli sees her outside his window time to time, as Haley does that one significant thing to where her existence in this film is valuable... Ok fine, that would be cool. I didn’t like the jump scare horror element of this film, thought it was completely lame as I’ve grown to be tired already after a few jump scares. The designs of the ghost were honestly whatever, nothing unique or creative is done with them. Speaking of the ghosts: I found them to be a problem with how they were in this film. It doesn’t make quite sense why they were terrorizing Eli in the first place. You can make these ghost characters scary to Eli, by making them not to be approached freighting to Eli. The fear Eli should get out of these ghosts is by being completely confused by their presence. At one point the ghosts give Eli clues to help himself in this facility, as I’m questioning why weren’t they for Eli in the beginning? I felt like I made a mistake watching this film at first, but how everything concluded made it quite alright, as there was surprises along the way. Overall, Eli was a mediocre horror film. If you’re fan of horror or a fan of a good twist, check this one it’s not bad. -Mitch Smietana

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