While Halloween has come and gone, the season for horror movies and psychological thrillers never seems to end. And what is scarier than monsters, masked murders or even creatures from other worlds? How about an evil that could be lurking in the communities around you an old spiritual practice that could actually be a threat you never considered.
Spell follows a well off lawyer who has to go back to Appalachia when he gets the call about his father’s death. Reluctantly, he flies his family back home for the service. Their plane goes down in a storm deep in the woods, leaving Marquis in the care of Eloise and Earl, a kind looking old couple who are anything but what they appear.
As Marquis tries to find his family, he quickly finds he’s not only in an area he cannot escape from – but one that may have an evil in it that might be his end. Despite their kind looks, both Eloise and Earl are deep into practicing Voodoo and have even created a Boogity of Marquis to help keep watch over him and help him heal. As if that wasn’t weird enough, Marquis sees some of their rituals which makes him want to run away – but where to?
Unlike a lot of other thriller movies, Spell banks on the fear of the unknown in Voodoo and other unfamiliar cultural practices. It also focuses, almost way too much on a couple scenes focusing around a foot injury that is so gruesome that viewers have to look away, while others have gotten sick. It also banks on the viewers feeling the cultural divide from Marquis current life and the world he’s been tossed in to create his personal hellscape. And while he has tried his whole life to get away from his past with his father, the abusive relationship is highlighted in flashbacks but doesn’t really add to the story over all.
With some brutal scenes, a lot of blood, violence, cursing, and using racial slurs – Spell definitely wont be a movie for everyone. But if you need to watch a movie that can confirm your bias about cultural practices you don’t know much about, or people that live in remote areas – it may be the movie for you. While the movie will keep your attention, I’m not sure it has the magic it was hoping for.
Paramount Pictures’ Spell, starring Omari Hardwick and the fantastic Loretta Devine. While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
Spell is Rated R for violence, disturbing/bloody images and language and is available on Premium Video On-Demand and Digital October 30th. #WatchSpell