Eloise (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

Director: Robert Legato
Writer: Christopher Borrelli
Stars: Chace Crawford, Eliza Dushku, Brandon T. Jackson

Plot: Four friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. However, finding it soon becomes the least of their worries in a place haunted by dark memories.

Running Time: 1 hour 29 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Critics 0% Audience 16% Not enough critics have rated the film so it has no score.

Why I watched it: Horror is my favorite genre so there’s that and it seems I’m in a groove for horror films so I gave this one a go even though I hadn’t heard anything about it.

Random Thoughts: The whole haunted mental institute/hospital is a pretty bad horror sub-genre it’s more cliched then the haunted house genre, don’t go into abandoned hospitals, go anywhere but there. Why don’t they tear them down?

What I liked: This is a better looking film than I thought, the tech stuff is fine, I thought it might look cheap and no budget, I mean it’s dark and scary so that fit’s in this genre. The old building is creepy and huge, the atmosphere is decent. The acting is fine, sometimes Eliza Dushku can leave me cold but she’s good here. Always great seeing Robert Patrick. I will give the film credit for trying to do a little more with the genre, there’s more twists and turns and they try to have an emotional core to the film, a history to it, I don’t think it worked but they at least tried to give it some depth and personality to the film. There’s stakes here not just dumb teenagers running around screaming and getting picked off one by one.

What I didn’t like: First off the plot description is wrong, four friends don’t break into an abandoned insane asylum, two friends, a mentally challenged man/child and his sister break in. One of the things that didn’t work in the film is they tried to have three of the main characters have ties to the asylum, trying to tie in history and I guess destiny and try to make this bigger and deeper. Now here’s the rare case of something I liked turned into something I didn’t like, full credit for trying but it doesn’t work here and the big problem they throw a lot of stuff at us in the last act and it’s overload, everything is connected and everyone is connected and it just all feels forced. My biggest problem is that the film can’t decide on what it’s doing, this isn’t really about a place being haunted cause it goes beyond that, it could be hell, it could be lots of things and of course it’s not clear and with that you have no idea what the rules are so how do you get out, how do you make these spirits go away. The story is sloppy and unclear and it lost me, not sure what they’re getting at here, they throw everything at us but little sticks. The ending left me with more questions and really at the end I don’t think it mattered, this was style over substance.

Final Thoughts: Goes without saying I’ve seen worst horror films in this sub-genre and the cast and look alone makes it an alright watch but it never clicks and never fully engages you.

Rating: 4/10

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