Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Chills & Thrills: Eli (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Eli (2019)
Genre: Horror
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Intrepid Pictures, Bellevue Productions
Director: CiarĂ¡n Foy
Writers: David Chirchirillo, Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing
Actors: Charlie Shotwell, Lili Taylor, Max Martini, Sadie Sink, Kelly Reilly, Deneen Tyler, Katia Gomez, Parker Lovein, Austin Foxx, Kailia Posey, Lou Beatty Jr.

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

Cat’s Point of View:
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by Eli.

On the surface, it gels as a strained family trying to seek treatment for the son’s mysterious illness. There are clearly more layers to the situation than meets the eye, I think this really came through well in the cast’s performances.

I can certainly relate to the son, who appears to be quite literally allergic to the world. When I was younger, my allergist once called me his ‘poster child.’ My propensity to get sick at the drop of the hat hasn’t gotten much better now that, as an adult, I have this crazy auto-immune disease. (MS) While my friends and I joke that I belong in a bubble; I’m not quite THAT bad off. Even so, I get nervous about the germ-carrying public and tote around a medical mask as if I was dodging SARS – just in case. Too many people don’t understand the whole ‘cover your cough’ thing. I digress…

The desperation to find a cure is palpable and makes the stay in the spooky mansion-turned-medical facility fairly understandable.

Needless to say, I got sucked into the story. From the various scores I’ve seen for the film, I’m not sure that it’s as immersive for everyone. I do have a rebuttal for quite a few of the negative points that have been thrown out there – but, alas, spoilers. I’m pretty much stuck with imploring the audience to overlook, for the moment, the whole ‘that doesn’t fit protocol for a clean-room’ thing. That actually plays into the story.

The twist here was so mind-blowing for me that I don’t even want to give even the slightest hint of it away. I really want anyone who is watching for the first time to get that feeling that comes with a Sixth Sense (1999) level reveal. There are shades of a horror classic dancing at the corners of perception, just begging you to connect the dots from their breadcrumb trail of hints.

I’d definitely say that Eli is a solid offering for the genre and a great film to enjoy during this month of all things spooky, thrilling, and chilling.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 47%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 4/10
IMDB Score – 5.9/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

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