Netflix horror film ELI is about a sick boy (played by Charlie Shotwell) whose parents Rose (Kelly Reilly) and Paul (Max Martini) admitted him into a secretive medical facility to treat his autoimmune disorder. The film from the very first few minutes promises suspense and thrill, and later moves towards the supernatural; however, it’s the climax that leaves everyone confused and surprised, for better or worse.
Interestingly enough that a film like ELI, produced by Paramount Pictures, finally drops on Netflix. The streaming platform’s ever-expanding catalog is now all piling up with many such low-budget films – with just a few good, but most pointless and uninteresting movies. Eli stands somewhere in the middle, even though the storyline doesn’t make any sense, and probably promises more for a possible sequel.
These days, every big movie production house after financing a project, at the very end, opts for VOD or online release if they don’t figure out a lucrative theatrical release. Netflix is undoubtedly the place where most films land with little expectation. After The Cloverfield Paradox, ELI is yet another film pushed to Netflix by Paramount. Nevertheless, audiences have been mature to accept films with an interesting storyline and intelligent execution.
Let’s watch the movie trailer – ELI
Talking about the film, we see Eli’s parents are enthusiastic about a mysterious healthcare institute run by Dr. Isabella Horn (Lili Taylor), who promises to treat Eli’s fatal allergic condition. And his parents think that this is the only place where they could finally see their son free of any fear of venturing out.
We then witness some unusual yet painful medical procedures which eventually turn Eli to see and experience supernatural things. While we wonder about the progress and angle in the storyline, the film unleashes a few spooky elements, making us believe this to be a haunted house tale.
So, now we have a kid, a mysterious hospital – possibly haunted by some evil forces, and characters playing to a messy script. There is certainly more to the truth than what we see on screen in the first half, and that’s what asks us to wait and watch until the end. Then we realize the difference between what we expect initially and what we get later. The narration is totally disjointed, although the overall performance was decent enough by the actors in play.
Ciaran Foy could not really give the story a cohesive tone. While many of us might like the twist in the end, our long guessing game asks much better from the makers. We eventually get no answer and we get a sense that the storyline was possibly written by multiple folks (and yes it is) at different instances, as never really ELI succeeds in projecting itself as a horror film with a clear objective.
ELI is now streaming on Netflix. If you have already watched this, please send us your review in the comment section below.
Starring: Kelly Reilly, Sadie Sink, Lili Taylor, Max Martini, Charlie Shotwell.
Written by David Chirchirillo, Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing
Directed by Ciarán Foy
Release Date/Year: October 18, 2019
Streaming Platform: Netflix