Friday, August 13, 2021

{The Midnight Horror} - SEANCE is 'The Craft' Meets 'The House on Sorority Row'

Let's start things off with a quote from COMINGSOON.NET about the new horror flick SEANCE - "Scream Meets Black Christmas." The first thought that pops into my mind is, "Which Black Christmas are they talking about?" Is it the classic 1974 film that everyone seems to love? Or is it the underrated 2006 gorefest remake? (Yes, I said underrated!) Or is it the in-name-only, godawful 2019 remake? As for Scream, are they referring to the 1995 film or its lackluster sequels? Even after viewing the film, I'm still not sure what they meant. It's more like a magicless version of The Craft meets The House on Sorority Row.

Simon Barrett (the writer of The Guest, Blair Witch, and You're Next) makes his directorial debut with SEANCE, which he also penned. Here's a fun fact - Dark Castle Entertainment is one of the production companies behind this film. Am I the only one who thought the company had gone under after Suburbicon? Nevertheless, I'm ecstatic they're still taking a stab at horror movies.

SEANCE (Not Rated; 93 mins) takes place at the prestigious Edelvine Academy for Girls. Suki Waterhouse stars as the protagonist Camille Meadows, the newest student at the academy. She doesn't make a good first impression with Alice (Inanna Sarkis) and her clique - Lenoria (Jade Michael), Rosalind (Djouliet Amara), Bethany (Madisen Beaty), and Yvonne (Stephanie Sy). It seems the only person Camille can trust in this new environment is Helina (Ella-Rae Smith). Blah, Blah, Blah. Alice and her pals attempt to make 'nice' by inviting Camille to a late-night ritual, where they try to evoke the spirit of a dead student who supposedly haunts the school.

So, the movie is a supernatural tale. Well, not really. It begins in that direction but ends up going a different route. A killer wearing a mask pops in out of nowhere, and one by one, the girls get taken out. Not out on a date. They get killed off one by one via a classic slasher style. 

RLJE Films released the film to digital platforms on May 21st in the United States and DVD and Blu-ray on August 3rd. If it's not already on SHUDDER, don't worry, it'll be debuting soon. For those who still care about physical media, the Blu-ray special features include a Director Commentary, Behind-the-Scene of SEANCE, Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, Decapitation Pre-Viz, and Behind-the-Scene Photo Gallery.

Final Thoughts

The directing is almost. There were a few hiccups, but nothing too drastic. For the most part, the acting was decent. And when I say decent - I mean the acting is acceptable for a low-budget horror flick. Maybe it's just me, but the actresses looked a bit too old to be playing teenagers. 

Despite some cliched moments, the slasher plot kept my interest. The unveiling of the killer(s) wasn't too big of a shocker, and the last-minute ending twist was predictable. Or maybe I've seen too many of these movies, and nothing is surprising anymore.

The best part of the film for me was the musical score by Sicker Man, which helped set up the creepy atmosphere. 

Overall, SEANCE is a well-crafted throwback to the 70's, and early '80s slashers. It combines the best elements of classic and modern horror to give us a familiar but haunting thriller.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I adore reading reader feedback! I will, however, remove all spam and pointless comments.

Please take note that I have the right to delete comments from this site. Please only post constructive and respectful feedback.