Movie Review: Eli (2019)

A horror film released onto Netflix in 2019, Eli is directed by Ciaran Foy (director of Sinister 2). Eli (Charlie Shotwell) is 11 years old, and severely allergic to the outside world, including air, dirt and dust. His parents Rose (Kelly Reilly, 2009’s Sherlock Holmes and its sequel) and Paul (Max Martini) take Eli to see the acclaimed Dr Isabella Horn (Lili Taylor) to cure him, but his treatment has some terrifying unforeseen consequences.

+ all of the acting was good to great, even if none was a particular standout. For once I didn’t hate the child actor (in fact, I’d argue he was one of the better actors), but both the parents and Dr Horn were also fine in their roles. It’s rare for these B-movie horror films to have acting that I don’t immediately hate, so this is a big plus
+ some good scares, and not all of the jump scare variety (though of course there are still a few of those as well). There is a lot of the whole ‘shine a torch on one object, and when you move it away something happens’ stuff, but between that is some good horror moments

Charlie Shotwell as the titular Eli

– the story is cliched and relatively predictable (particularly for horror fans), but while that is not necessarily a negative in itself, the film also has some strange pacing/timing issues, where it ends just as you think it may get going

> Shotwell is scheduled to play the young version of Morbius, in Sony’s upcoming Spider-man villain solo flick.

Should you see this film: While I can’t say this was a unique film, the atmosphere and build up to the ending was really effective, with a few solid scares thrown in.


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