[Review] Eli (2019)
ELI is the story of a young boy plagued with an unknown, debilitating illness that requires him to live completely sealed off from the outside world. After exhausting every option, his parents put their trust – and his life – in the hands of a doctor whose experimental, cutting edge treatments may hold Eli’s last hope. As Eli undergoes the tremendously intense process that could potentially cure him, he begins to be haunted by experiences that make him question who he can trust.
Eli (Charlie Shotwell), is a young boy who suffers from some sort of auto-immune disorder, a rare disease that causes horrific allergic reactions to everything, especially the outdoors. The disease causes him to always have to wear protective gear. His parents, Rose (Kelly Reilly) and Paul (Max Martini), takes him to Dr. Isabella Horn’s (Lili Taylor) secluded medical facility, a very large old house that has been completely sterilized, modernized and hermetically quarantined. Eli is happy that he can now remove his “bubble suit” and touch his parents, which before was forbidden. Soon, his happiness fizzles out as he starts to experience supernatural phenomena all around him, especially in certain parts of the house.
His painful treatments begin, and on his first of three treatments, Dr. Horn and her team take tissue samples, but when he wakes up he is immediately tormented by what seems to be malevolent spirits. As the treatments continue, the supernatural encounters increase, with the spirits leaving him the message ‘lie’, and Eli wonders if the spirits are trying to warn him or mean him harm. When Eli tries to explain to everyone what he is seeing, they quickly tell him it’s hallucinations from the anesthesia. But as time progresses, his treatments are getting more intense, and Eli uncovers horrifying secrets buried within the facility.
In the middle of all this Eli befriends a young girl named Haley (Sadie Sink), who he speaks with only through a large window in the lower level of the house. Haley seems to be the only person who believes Eli’s claims that the house is haunted. He confides to Haley that Dr. Horn is trying to convince everyone, including his parents that his visions are simple hallucinations that are caused by his treatments. Haley then tells him that none of the other patients Dr. Horn has ever treated left the facility, and she suspects that they all died. With Haley’s help, Eli manages to discover the real meaning of the word “lie” that he has constantly been seeing, which then leads to the downward spiral and the beginning of what could leave his life upside down and with dire apocalyptic consequences.
The acting from everyone was well done on everyone’s behalf, although for some reason I got this weird feeling that Talor seemed a little clueless with her part. Just the blank look on her face was something I’m not used to seeing from her. The film itself was maybe a little slow in the middle, but it picked up a lot towards the ending. More of a thriller than a horror, although that scary feeling is there in some parts and will keep you questioning enough to keep it entertaining. I didn’t feel bored at all while watching. The acting, the special effects, sound and picture quality, the plot and story were all good in this movie. The plot twist is incredibly original and didn’t see it coming at all. Eli was certainly good enough considering some of the crap Netflix spits out nowadays.
If you want a decently written horror movie without an over excess of jumpscares, gore or cheap CGI, then Eli is a nice one to watch. For the most part, Eli keeps you on the edge of your seat and has you guessing what the hell is going on from one scene to the next. But that ending. I was not expecting that ending at all and I didn’t realize until the last 15-20 minutes as to what was truly going on. It is definitely worth a watch if you are the type of person who doesn’t have to analyze or nit-pick every single word or move a character makes in a movie. I don’t think I give too many details so you should be able to take a chance and give this movie a watch because I think it would be time well spent for people who are able to simply enjoy a movie for what it is and not try to find every little fault it has. I can recommend this, if for nothing other than a one-time watch.
Release Date: October 18, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Starring: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Lili Taylor, Max Martini
MPAA Rated: R
Director(s): Ciarán Foy
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating: 3.2 /5
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