Spell (2020)

While piloting his family to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, Marquis (Omari Hardwick, Sorry to Bother You) flies through an electrical storm and crashes, waking up alone and injured, a captive in the attic of Ms. Eloise (Loretta Devine, who was one of the original actresses in the stage presentation of Dreamgirls). She claims that for him to be whole again, she must use the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure created from human blood and skin.

Trapped in an attic with no idea where his family is, Marquis must escape his past and his future at the very same time.

Spell was written by Kurt Wimmer, who wrote and directed one of my favorite odd 2000’s action films, Equilibirum, as well as its kind of, sort of follow-up Ultraviolet. He also wrote SaltSphere and the remakes of The Thomas Crown AffairTotal Recall and Point Break. He also directed a new Children of the Corn, which came out on October 23 of this year.

It was directed by Mark Tonderai, who made House at the End of the Street and has worked on plenty of streaming shows like Castle RockLocke and Key and Gotham.

This film looks nice, with well-thought-out dream sequences and colorful hues. I just wish it had something new to say. It feels like a backwoods — yet black-acted — version of the post-Deliverance films that brought the supernatural to the table like Rituals while the allusions to Misery simply can’t be glossed over.

That said, between this and Antebellum, you can really tell that modern black horror suffers without someone like Jordan Peele at the helm. It’s an alright film, but like I stated above, I wish it had something more to say.

However, Devine is great in her role and really brings it. She’s the best thing in this.

Spell is playing in some theaters — check COVID-10 restrictions — as well as being available on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.

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