By: April Shire
Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse, The Divergent Series: Insurgent) is the new girl at an all-girl school called Edelvine Academy. The academy suddenly has an opening after the mysterious death of one of its students. A death that just happens to coincide with a séance six girlfriends perform to bring back another former student that is said to haunt the school. As the members of the friend group go missing or are found murdered, the girls are left wondering what they may have brought back during the ritual. Séance gave me Mean Girls meets The Craft vibes as the girl group, led by Alice (Inanna Sarkis, Boo 2! Madea Halloween), makes Camille feel less welcome and more like an enemy. She and her friends go out of their way to spook the girl. Yet the girl group's obsession with the occult, a homemade Ouija board, and incantations found on the internet, all seem to be coming back to bite them, and quite literally.
The storyline goes from being a supernatural thriller to a slasher film, at times blurring the line between the two. Is a jaded ghost to blame for the girls’ disappearances and murders? Is it another student? Maybe a combination of the two? This movie has a lot of plot turns and twists, which made it an enjoyable ride overall. The climax of the film was a bit underwhelming.
I was looking forward to it being more of a supernatural horror movie. What I got was more of a whodunit thriller, with just a touch of ghost scares. If SEANCE had been in theaters, I would have bought a ticket to see it on the big screen. Some scenes in the movie were a bit dark, so it was hard to make out everything that was happening. That added to the creep factor, but at times, took away from your understanding of the story, since you felt like you were missing things. It did, however, have a few good jump scares that would have been cool to experience in a dark theater.
This movie was "watch with my teen" scary. Very reminiscent of the formula for thrillers in the 90’s. Writer and Director Simon Barrett (You’re Next) did do an awesome job with the plot twist of the film, but the ending just kind of falls flat afterwards.
SEANCE is available for viewing on Shudder.