19 October 2019 02:33
Offloaded to Netflix by Paramount, who reportedly couldn't figure out how the heck to market it, supernatural horror flick Eli arrives with a number of question marks eerily circulating. In a remote, and comically creepy, mansion, a doctor (Lili Taylor) is offering an expensive experimental treatment that she claims will cure him. Rather like the wonderful, little-seen New Zealand comedy horror Housebound, Eli is a haunted house film where the person being haunted is unable to leave. Like The Cloverfield Paradox before it, Eli is a film more suited to the small screen, where audience members can multi-task, perhaps even search for something better to watch next. Netlfix's Newest Horror Movie 'Eli' Is a Fresh Take on a Haunted House Story In Netflix's new horror film Eli, a boy with an autoimmune disorder (Charlie Shotwell) is taken to a remote treatment center in a last-ditch hope to cure his condition - but the ending reveals that there's more to his illness than meets the eye.
Directed by Ciarán Foy, Eli stars Lili Taylor as the enigmatic Dr. Horn, Max Martini and Kelly Reilly as Eli's parents, Paul and Rose, and Stranger Things' Sadie Sink as a local girl called Haley, who befriends Eli through the glass of the conservatory. Eli realizes that the word "LIE" the ghosts are spelling out actually says "317" when viewed upside-down, and with a little prompting from Haley deduces that it most be the code to the medical wing. Eli's ending twist is that Dr. Horn isn't just a doctor, but a nun, and she's been trying to use gene editing to rid the Devil's children of their corruption. Eli's IV drip was actually holy water, and the injections he was given were tannis root, designed to suppress his true nature while Dr. Horn worked on his genes. When it's clear that the treatment has failed once again, Dr. Horn offers to at least save Eli's soul by performing a rite and killing him with a holy dagger.
After killing everyone except his mother and setting fire to the house, Eli steps outside and his red skin and demonic eyes fade away, indicating that the allergic reactions he's been having were simply the first stage of a transition that his parents had previously managed to prevent being completed. Netflix shambles along through the October-horror graveyard with Eli, a haunted-house/creepy-kid movie from Sinister 2 director Ciaran Foy. There's a scene in the film where a mother prays for her son's debilitating illness to be cured, and it was a familiar sight — I myself had just whispered one to the movie gods, hoping that Eli wouldn't be yet another boilerplate boo-fest. Before you can say "Moops!", his desperate parents (Kelly Reilly and Max Martini) have packaged him in an airtight spacesuit and schlepped him cross-country to see a "miracle worker," Dr. Isabella Horn (Lili Taylor), who promises a cure. And then there's a red-haired girl (Sadie Sink of Stranger Things fame), who chats with Eli from the patio on the other side of the window, and appears to be real. Netflix's Original Horror Movies, on its veritable list, has a new entrant in 'Eli.' A 90-odd minute film that relies heavily on one particular twist.
Foy's venture isn't for the faint-hearted and if you're in the mood for watching a decent horror flick, 'Eli's worth the whirl.