I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!
Be warned, dear Reader (that’s you, unless it’s Todd reading this, then f*ck Todd), the movie I’m forcing myself to review is so basic that I risk falling asleep, so for my own sake I’m just putting the disparate parts of this review out of order so I don’t pass out while writing this and driving a car.
I’m fine. Let’s just get this review over with so I never have to think about it again.
Really it’s two stars
What Works With Séance
- Suki Waterhouse holds the screen as well as anyone can in such a standard movie. Waterhouse stands out because Camille looks and feels like a fleshed out person (more or less) instead of the cardboard cutouts the other actors are forced to play. There’s actually some surprise to Camille and you can’t really say anything like that about the other barely-there characters.
- Some splashes of well-placed gore to satisfy the fans and too keep most from falling asleep.
Séance opens in the Edelvine Boarding Academy for Girls About To Die. There’s a handful of girls retelling the legend of the Edelvine ghost. Who’s the Edelvine ghost you ask?
As the legend goes, the Edelvine Ghost is the ghost of a girl.
A girl who died.
A girl who died under mysterious circumstances.
Nobody is sure what happened to the Edelvine Ghost, but every young woman who goes to Edelvine knows the story.
Some of the upperclassmen are telling some of the new girls this story in a totally not haunted bathroom. Then something scares the life out of them.
Some of the freshman were frightened but understand it’s a joke. Unless it wasn’t.
You see, a young woman named Kerrie (Megan Best) ran out of the bathroom because something scared her. And it might not have been the prank. She might have seen something she shouldn’t have.
We’d ask Kerrie about this, but she’s dead because she fell out of a two-story window and landed headfirst onto the concrete. What did she see that made her fall? Or was it something else?
Kerrie’s dead. We’re all sad, but life goes on.
Because there’s been a vacancy at Edelvine, let’s meet a new student by the name of Camille (Suki “Bread and” Waterhouse). Camille has been on a waiting list for a while but lucky for her Kerrie fell out of a window and died.
Camille is being shown the ropes by fellow student Helina (Ella-Rae Smith). Helina shows Camille to her room. Camille’s new room is the same room Kerrie had before she got killed. We all hope they washed the blood off the walls before we remember than Kerrie’s blood and brains and entrails were out on the pavement and not the room. How considerate.
Camille’s found a friend. Possibly another one in Trevor (Seamus Patterson). He’s the handyman and the Headmistress’ son. Let’s hope he’s not a red herring or anything like that. He’s just so helpful and not suspicious.
Camille is new, so she’s being picked on by the generic high school mean girls. They barely register as characters so I couldn’t even remember their names. I’ll just call them Future Karens.
Camille and a Future Karen named Alice (Inanna Sarkis, and yes I had to look that up) get into fight. I know some of you out there want to see girls in uniform fighting but the Headmistress breaks it up and they’re all in detention.
While they’re being punished, Alice and the other Mean Girls In A High School Movie want to somehow contact dead Kerrie to see if she was killed by the Edelvine Ghost.
As you’d expect, they have an app for that.
They conduct a séance. They make (possible) contact with a spirit. The spirit says it was killed by someone or something. Camille and Helina want nothing to do with it so they break off contact. The other girls are freak out as well.
They leave detention in a group, except one girl who just wants to call her boyfriend. Good luck not dying.
As dead girl is texting her boyfriend, something kills her. But what was it? Is there a killer or two roaming the halls at Edelvine? Or did the girls unwittingly conjure up an evil spirit.
Edelvine has had better days, er, weeks. There’s been a dead girl on campus every couple of days in ways that remind everyone of the Edelvine Ghost. With any luck more deaths will take place so that other new students like Camille can get enrolled at Edelvine.
Edelvine. Come for the ghost. Stay for the campus killings.
Séance is a generic high school slasher with nothing new to offer the genre. Skip it, because you’ve probably seen dozens like it before. You won’t need a séance to figure out you don’t need to see this.
What Doesn’t Work With Séance
- The writer of You’re Next and The Guest Simon Barrett make his directing debut as he’s also written this movie. Barrett is also credited with writing Dead Birds, A Horrible Way to Die and Blair Witch. Any of those other movies (besides the limp Blair Witch) is better than Séance. Barrett has proven he can write good movies. Séance isn’t one of them. A horrible way to die would be knowing this was the last movie you saw. Don’t risk it.
- A third act info dump that stops the movie dead in its tracks. This was a cliché in old Bond movies. None of what you hear in any of these scenes feel real or even wanted. Turns a mediocre but not boring movie into something laughable.
- Other than Camille, none of the other character make any sort of an impression or than possible victim or maybe the killer. I might have remembered other characters’ names but it never really mattered.
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