BARE BONES: SEANCE (2021)

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SEANCE (2021)

New student Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse) has arrived at the prestigious…and possibly haunted…Edelvine Academy and finds that student Kerri (Megan Best) died there as a result of a practical joke gone wrong…or was it? Not only must Camille deal with the school’s resident pack of Mean Girls, but there may be a supernatural presence in the academy and Camille now resides in the dead girl’s former room. No surprise when bodies start to fall…but who, or what, is responsible?

Flick is written and directed by Simon Barrett (writer of You’re Next and The Guest) and is part ghost story, part mystery and part slasher. It has some spooky moments, but maintains the vibe of one of those teen centric supernatural dramas that airs on the CW, even if there is some graphic gore and violence in the last act. Barrett has a nice visual eye and can create some chills and atmosphere, but his script has all the familiar tropes and clichés of a typical haunted school/slasher flick. It is entertaining and well made, but is just too familiar to really grab and hold you. The cast are fine, basically playing traditional roles for this type of flick, with Waterhouse making a suitable heroine. The reveal is OK, with certain motives being a bit of a stretch, but the climatic confrontation does have some fun to it, until it drags on a bit too long for it’s own good. Overall, it passes the time, is atmospheric and has it’s moments, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. If you’re looking for something entertaining, but not too demanding to watch, it is available to rent on Amazon Prime. Also stars Inanna Sarkis, Stephanie Sy and Madison Beaty as students.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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BARE BONES: ASSASSINATION NATION (2018)

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ASSASSINATION NATION (2018)

High schooler Lily Colson (Odessa Young) lives in the small town of Salem in a modern age where everyone’s deepest and darkest secrets are stored digitally. When someone hacks into the town’s phones and computers and releases those secrets across the internet, the whole of Salem becomes unglued. Worse still, Lily, who is having an affair with a married older man (Joel McHale ), is blamed for the hack. The whole town is now out to kill her…literally! Can Lily and gal pals, Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Em (Abra) and Bex (Hari Nef) keep their heads with a whole town wanting them dead…or has this town picked the wrong girls to take their anger out on?

Written and directed by Sam Levinson, Assassination Nation can be stylish and edgy fun, though it also tries a little too hard to be hip. It’s the type of film which has become all too common in the wake of Quentin Tarantino, mixing sarcastic humor with graphic violence and “going there” whenever possible. The little town of Salem is host for a new kind of witch hunt as everyone’s secrets from pedophilia, homosexuality and all sorts of sexual hi-jinx are bared for all to see and a young woman is wrongfully blamed for the purge. While it does overdo it a bit with trying to be hyper-stylized and cutting edge, it is also an amusing portrayal of the dangers of today’s society having to document everything they do, especially the naughty stuff. Sometimes secrets should be kept…well, secret. Definitely worth a look, especially for the second half when all hell breaks loose.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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