Alice Oscura – Featured Writer
Blumhouse/Amazon Studios Two-Fer Movie Reviews
Review 1 – Evil Eye
“Protect my child from the EVIL EYE So that she may be married”
Evil Eye is an American horror that was released by Amazon Studios on the October 13. It was produced under two banners: Blumhouse Productions via Jason Blum and Purple Pebble Pictures via Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The movie is an adaptation of an Audible Original audio play of the same name written by Madhuri Shekar. It stars Sarita Choudhury (Mississippi Masala, 1992) as Usha Karti. Usha is your traditional East Indian mother meaning that she is worried that her 29-year-old daughter, Pallavi (Sunita Mani from Mr Robot) is neither married nor in a stable relationship. The mother’s character can come across a bit strong and quirky because she is overly superstitious. She consults gurus, horoscope charts and believes in wearing the evil eye talisman/jewelry for protection. She has always insisted that Pallavi wear the eye as protection believing that her daughter may be cursed because of a traumatic event that Usha suffered the night of her daughter’s birth. Little do they know that history is about to repeat itself in a violent manner.
The film smartly handles the barrier between the Indian culture that is still deeply rooted in mysticism and superstition, which Usha strongly believes in, and Pallavi growing up in America which is a modernised society that has since moved away from cultural taboos. This was represented in the movie’s many effective call scenes between mother and daughter that would display the two opposing opinions and beliefs. It shows the strength of the two main actresses’ emotional range that made it almost seem as though they were in the same room and not in two different countries.
Choudhury captivates the audience with her pure maternal instinct and there were absolutely no boundaries for her in trying to protect her daughter from the dark fate that awaited her. The character is a strong, devoted woman who is firm in her beliefs whilst only wanting the best for her daughter. Her determination pulls the viewer and to see how well the character actually handles herself when she finally comes face to face with her adversary on the screen is definitely no disappointment.
While I know that this one is not going to be everyone’s go to film, the cast is pretty solid and they do a great job with the script. The atmosphere barely drags and the special effects between Usha’s memory flashes keep you interested enough until the backstory is finally revealed. The set designs are very indigenous to the countries represented and the color schemes used are also an excellent representation of the difference in culture. It’s all in the subtle touches.
One thing is that you have got to keep an open mind and dig into your superstitious side. I am not telling you to believe what you see, but I think that the plot makes for an interesting concept.
Alice’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
Review 2 – Nocturne
Nocturne is a 2020 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Zu Quirke. It is also produced under the banner of Blumhouse Productions. The story starts off showing us the birth of twin girls Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) and Vivian (Madison Iseman) who develop an affinity for the piano. Fast forward to the future where both girls are now attending graduate high school for fine arts. The twins’ are not, however, equally talented as Vivian’s achievements have since surpassed her sister and sadly dashes any hopes or aspirations that Juliet might have had. Juliet is basically forced to be her twin’s understudy and her own hard work is overshadowed by Vivian’s flirtations and sexual relations with her tutors. On their return to school, Juliet discovers a deceased fellow student’s diary. Things mysteriously start to go in Juliet’s favor, and you begin to wonder whether or not something more sinister is at play.
In my opinion I personally would not classify this as a supernatural horror. It is more psychological in nature. The main theme here seems to be the fear of failure or mediocrity. But there is a representation of perhaps a supernatural element being responsible for Juliet’s sudden good luck, and seemed to be feeding off her lack of self confidence coupled with her obvious jealousy of her sister Vivian. From the looks of things, Vivian really doesn’t seem to be that great of sister even though she professes to be. The character is extremely self-absorbed and thinks that it’s funny to low key throw verbal jibes at her less than successful sister. The twins’ parents are all but window dressing because they also seemed to be too wrapped up in entertaining their friends to notice the warning signs.
Juliet’s character in my opinion is very tragic, and you can kind of understand why she lets whatever the supernatural entity take control of a situation, especially when it means getting the life that she so coveted. Not saying that jealousy is a good thing, but the character suffered from anxiety and that in itself tends to chop away at your confidence plus mess with your head at a different level. There comes a point also where I think it’s left up to the viewer to analyse whether or not there was indeed an entity or if it was as in Juliet’s fractured psyche.
The atmosphere is dark, foreboding and you keep wanting Juliet to turn away from whatever it is and seek help. Sweeney does an incredible job with the character and communicates a lot of Juliet’s desperation, intensity, and melancholy through very expressive large blue eyes.
Imagine the unimaginable pain of knowing that after so many years of training and hard work, that you will NEVER be able to achieve your dreams.
It is definitely a different style of horror movie. It is a bit more artsy and metaphorical but not overbearingly so. Best one I have seen so far from the Blumhouse collection recently released by Amazon Studios.
Alice’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
For my review of British Gothic horror Amulet you can click here. And for more horror film reviews you can check out our horror review selection here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.