Powered by Blogger.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Review: Mercy Black

Director: Owen Egerton
Screenplay: Owen Egerton
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure an imaginary ghost known as Mercy Black, Marina Hess returns home. During the time she was under psychiatric care, the myth of Mercy Black gained much popularity. While Marina would have preferred to leave those events in the past, her nephew becomes increasingly obsessed with Mercy Black and to save him she must uncover the truth behind the ghost.

“Slender Man”... I mean “Mercy Black” is produced by the famous production company of horror movie Blumhouse Productions. Many of us horror movies fans get excited when we see a Blumhouse production, as they have produced many great horror movies such as “Get Out”, the “Insidious” saga, “Sinister” and the movie that put them on the map, “Paranormal Activity”. Even with the success of many of their movies, they are not exempt from producing movies that are far from the level of their hits, and this is the case of “Mercy Black”.

The story of “Mercy Black”, if you did not catch the joke of the opening sentence, is heavily influenced in the story of Slender Man. Two girls sacrifice another girl to after her as a tribute to Mercy Black. What is interesting about this story is that it takes place fifteen years later when one of the girls involved in this act is released from a psychiatric institution and she has to reintegrate into society. Once she returns to her city, she realizes that the legend of Mercy Black has become popular in this place and she starts doubting if Mercy Black is real or just a product of her imaginations.

What the movie does best is that it is constantly and well developed that there are always events occurring that change the perspective of the viewer about if Mercy Black is real or not. As what happens with the protagonist, it is hard for the viewer to decide if the events happening are real or not and part of what happens we see it from the protagonist's eyes, who is also trying to decipher what is going on. This gives way to hold until the end where everything is cleared up and helps the plot twist to be unexpected and effective to a certain extent.

Besides the uncertainty about if Mercy Black is real or not, the rest of the movie is a generic compilation of horror movie clichés. The decision of using so many clichés ends up making most of the movie predictable. In several parts, the director and writer of this movie Owen Egerton (“Blood Fest”) bets for jump scares that are so predictable that they lose all effectiveness. The same thing happens with some twists that could have been much more effective if crafted more subtly.

In the technical part, it suffers the same problems as the rest of the movie. While the screenplay is not awful, it not good either. The cast composed of Daniella Pineda (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Miles Emmons (“Hawaii Five-0”), and Austin Amelio (“The Walking Dead”) do not make a bad job and their characters are more limited by the screenplay and some bad dialogs than for their acting capacities. Also, the characters feel generic and lacking identity inside the horror movie genre. Maybe the character that stands out the most is that of Bryce, the nephew of the protagonists that have some sequences where it is interesting and creepy, as well as creative in a “Home Alone” style, but darker.

“Mercy Black” bets for using a generic recipe in which to base its story and ends up being that, a generic story of those we have seen hundreds. While it feeds from a real and controversial event in the attempted murder as a sacrifice for Slender Man, which was looked into in the documentary “Beware the Slenderman”, this story does not make the most out of anything else and to a certain extent is an insult to the real victims of this event by promoting the possibility of them suffering from Stockholm syndrome after it.

No comments:

Post a Comment