The Internet is going crazy with news about Eli, the new Netflix horror film. There are several reports of people actually having nightmares watching the film. I took those with a pinch of salt, because they said the same thing about Secret Obsessions. That one was a favorite with anyone who wanted to watch horror movies online. So, I watched the film at one go. Here’s the review.
A young boy is traveling with his parents to a secret facility. The boy’s sick and it seems that only the doctor he is going to can cure him, Doctor Horn. As Eli reaches the facility and his treatment begins, he finds out that all is not what it seems. A young girl, who can speak to him only through a glass window, tells him that he needs to escape and that every other patient in the facility has died. Eli experiences supernatural experiences, but his parents don’t believe him. What happens next, forms the rest of the story.
Before that, watch the Eli trailer here:
We should hand it over to the streaming platforms. With them in the fray, creators have finally found the way to bring out the weirdest and nuttiest – and therefore the most interesting or premises to audiences. Eli’s premise is so atrociously camp, it will make the average Hollywood horror movies fan sit up and take notice. The premise is revealed in a twist at almost the end, so that’s something that has the horror film audiences lookup (or down) and takes notice.
While the film has an interesting and atrocious premise, it doesn’t embrace the laugh-out-loud aspect of it and keeps everything slow and dark. The screenplay could have done with a lot of spice, and maybe a comedy element. Eli has the necessary jump scares and good performances, but it loses out because of a screenplay that just refuses to go ahead and get done with it.
While the movie is a silent tread for most of its runtime, Eli turns into a total cry-pot in the end scenes, which is cacophony to the ears, rather than making the audience scared. Charlie Shotwell does everything well but undoes all of it in the last few sequences. Kelly Reilly does a good job of playing Eli’s mother – the one who finally decides that things aren’t going to work out as they are destined to be. Max Martini plays Eli’s father and gives out a decent performance as well.
In a Nutshell:
Eli is no great shakes. It’s slow, it doesn’t remain with you and it doesn’t even get under your skin. And it definitely doesn’t have its audience having nightmares. It’s a simple, engaging enough film for anyone who’s looking to watch Horror movies online.