Eli Film Discussion

(This discussion will include big spoilers with and is best to be read after watching the film yourself. This is an in depth discussion, not a review post)

Now when I first saw the trailer for Eli, I rolled my eyes. This was yet another film centering on a child allergic to the world. This is at least the third film I’ve seen like this advertised within the last year, (Others being ‘Midnight Sun‘ & ‘Everything Everything‘). I thought how I could make a blog post about over saturation of certain film genres in the last few years (eg. the allergic to the world sub genre, or the sensory sub genre such as ‘A Quiet Place’, ‘Bird Box’ & ‘The Silence’).

However I started seeing reports about how viewers were apparently seeing demons after watching the film. The trailers already got across it’s a horror, a genre I’m trying to slowly get myself into. Then I realized Sadie Sink was in it (Max from ‘Stranger Things’) and I thought screw it. I’ll give it a chance.

So the story starts cliche where you see an allergic reaction to the outside world and the precautions that need to be taken in order for main character Eli, to navigate the world. He and his parents are en-route to a ‘doctor’ that claims she can cure Eli. Eli undergoes such treatments as having his skull and bones drilled into in order to insert a virus. Which to me didn’t make too much sense if I’m honest but it’s a horror so I allowed my belief to be suspended. As the treatments go on Eli starts seeing ‘ghosts’. Here comes one of my issues, Eli asks Sadie Sink’s character Haley, if she thinks the ghosts are the ghosts are trying to help or harm him. The ghosts up till this point have been displayed as nothing but malevolent. Asking this question a) does not belong in a horror movie & b) ruins the twist at the end that they were actually trying to help Eli. This totally ruined the rest of the movie for me.

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’ve already seen the film so know that the ending reveals that Eli, Haley and the ghosts are all children of Satan and Eli isn’t actually allergic to the outside world but his parents led him to believe that to ‘protect him’ which is never fully explained. Now I’m sure you’ll remember the scene when Eli finds the religious photo of the doctor treating him, showing her as part of a convent. I audibly groaned at this point. Please don’t make this another religious thing I ironically prayed. There wasn’t too much of the film left so I carried on. The religious twist comes out of the blue and to me didn’t fit the film. I get the twist, I understand this is a different approach to the allergic to the world sub genre of films and that it was clever but there was no lead up to this. So to me it fell flat. It felt like a cop out and I just didn’t enjoy it. In my opinion it wasn’t a satisfying ending to the film in the slightest and I was much more interested in the science side of the film than the sudden religious twist.

Looking online reviews are pretty mixed which a 5.8 rating on IMDB & a 50% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (at time of writing). So it seems I’m not the only one that was left totally confused by this movie.

I must say, trying to get into horror is proving to be especially difficult as the genre seems to have more flops than hits. Any recommendations for movies would be very helpful!

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