Review of "Eli” by The Headless Critic
Eli – 2019
Production by: Intrepid Pictures, Paramount Players, Bellevue Productions
Distribution by: Netflix
For Paul (Max Martini) and Rose (Kelly Reilly) their worst fear as parents has come true. Their preteen son Eli (Charlie Shotwell) has developed an auto-immune disorder that’s progressively gotten worse the last four years to the point he’s living in a bubble. In hopes of finding a miracle cure the distraught parents turn to their last hope Dr. Horn (Lili Taylor) who claims she can cure their son. At her mansion medical retreat Eli is able to live without his bubble for the first time in years. It seems like a dream come true until Eli begins having ghostly encounters inside the doctor’s mansion. Dr. Horn claims hallucinations are a side effect of her experimental medicine but Eli thinks that is a lie. “Before Eli gets better, he’s going to get worse.”
The writers of Cheap Thrills David Chirchirillo and The Autopsy of Jane Doe Ian Goldberg co-write a haunting script that has an unexpected twist at the directing hands of Ireland's Ciarán Foy. Max Martini and Lili Taylor are underutilized acting gems that head a cast of good performances including Kelly Reilly, Stranger Things Sadie Sink and a very impressive starring role from child actor Charlie Shotwell. The performances make you believe, the horror is over-exposed. Ghosts in the mirror but not seen by the naked eye is done to death in supernatural cinema and mirrors play a large role in this film. The jump scares in the movie that marketing says is making people who view it see demons won’t get you but unraveling the mystery of what’s really going on with Eli will. The childlike adventure ending wraps everything up a little too nicely but it’s a fun journey full of wonderful actors getting there.
Available Now on Netflix
3 out of 5 Headless Critics