Editor’s Note: At Red Mango Reviews we have a pretty robust dibs system but there is the rare occasion when two reviews are submitted for the same film. And this happened this week with the slasher film Seance, first from Featured Writer Alice and then Horror Head Writer Sommer. But when I saw the large gap in scores I thought, “Why not use them both?” So I present to you our very first Duelling Reviews!
Plot: A young woman named Camille Meadows arrives at the prestigious Edelvine Academy following one of the students’ untimely and violent death. After taking part in a séance bodies begin to pile up and she wonders if they may have awoken something sinister.
Featured Writer Alice’s Review
After seeing Simon Barrett’s work in You’re Next (2011) and The Guest (2014), I must admit that I was expecting something better. Instead, we get a film that definitely feels like something we have seen before and also a tacky version of the slasher genre.
The story is entirely predictable with a dash of overzealous campiness that weakens the material. We have seen these types of sorority/girl’s school-type horror executed in far better ways without feeling like the characters are just stumbling about in the dark.
Not to mention when the film hits it climax it begins to veer into a level of clumsiness in its execution in what should be the most brutal and bloodiest sequence of the film. Then comes an ending that has all the personality of a wet mop.
Seance feels like a film that doesn’t know which line it wants to stay on, and it battles with itself between being a straight-up tribute to the slasher genre or a dark horror comedy. While it was entertaining to watch these weak characters fumble about, I wouldn’t suggest an urgency to see this one; there’s better slasher content out there folks!
Dark Alice’s Score: 3 out of 10
Horror Head Writer Sommer’s Review
Well this was a pleasant surprise.
This was one of those instances where I watched a movie more out of boredom than anything else. Horror movie-wise it’s been one disappointment after another, with both Army of the Dead and Spiral turning out to be lacklustre films. I came across Seance and, knowing nothing about it besides the name, I decided to give it a go.
Turns out the film was written by Simon Barrett, the same person behind You’re Next and The Guest, two solid additions to the thriller/horror genre. While not as strong as those two films, Seance delivers a lot of great moments and overall is one of the better horror movies I’ve seen of late.
Firstly, this cast of relatively unknown actresses prove you can do a horror movie with nods to female empowerment without it coming across as cringe-inducing or preachy (I’m looking at you Black Christmas 2019). Lead actress Suki Waterhouse (Pride Prejudice and Zombies, The Bad Batch) holds it down as Camille Meadows, the new girl to a private boarding school who has to deal with not only a group of mean girls but also a possible haunting by the ghost of one of the students who died during a prank gone wrong.
Secondly, there are all the staples here of your classic slashers such as Black Christmas (the great one from 1974), Suspiria, and Sorority House Massacre. The kills, while a bit too quick in some places, were decent, and the blood and gore factor quickly rises as the final act kicks in.
My only complaint really is the pacing. The movie takes a long, long time to really get off the ground, and for some viewers this can mean boring. You really need to stick it out though as the real action takes places in the final 20 minutes of the film. But the solid acting by our leads, the intriguing mix of mystery and supernatural elements, and the gory action of the final act saves this one from being a snorefest. And overall, I’m glad I decided to give this Seance a go.
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
So have you seen Seance? How would you rank it? You can check out more slasher reviews below:
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. Read More
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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