As we fast approach the last month of 2019, I realise that there’s a fair few movies that I need to watch in order to satiate my thirst for horror. Among these was the Netflix feature Eli, starring Kelly Reilly, Lili Taylor, and Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink.
Directed by Ciaran Foy (Citadel, Sinister 2) struggles to make a deep impact despite the strong performances from the cast, and I can’t help but feel that this is a combination of Foy’s inability to shift away out of the generic, failing to provide something memorable, and a predictable storyline that is almost too afraid to deliver anything new to the audience, more than comfortable to sit in the middle of the road.
The premise begins with the titular character played by Charlie Shotwell, as a bubble boy, cocooned from the world due to a rare disease that causes a severe reaction if he is exposed to the outside world. When provided with the opportunity to cure him of his affliction, Eli’s parents (Reilly and Max Martini) head to a specialised clinic run by Dr Isabella Horn (Taylor). When things appear to be too good to be true, it’s often the case, and there’s something dark and sinister behind the great doctor and her practice.
As Eli starts to uncover the mystery, he unearths a secret that once exposed will change everything forever. Dare he open Pandora’s Box and who exactly is the mysterious Hayley from next door?
Medical facilities, skin diseases and dark secrets that fuel this horror feature, should be the stuff of every genre fans dreams, but instead of offering up scares Eli remains trapped in formulaic territory and seems comfortable to sit in safe territory.
As such, it’s a mediocre affair – watchable but never truly wets the appetite of any hardened horror enthusiast.
- Saul Muerte