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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Review: U-Turn

Director: Roderick Cabrido

Screenplay: Ceno Palomares

Year: 2020

Every time Netflix adds a horror movie to its platform without much announcement, it’s either a hidden gem or a complete disaster. “U-Turn” is the most recent horror movie Netflix has stealthily added and with good reason. For the bad fortune of those of us who gave it a chance, this movie belongs to the disaster pile. 

Donna is a journalist for an online magazine who wants to give her career a push, as it feels like it has been stuck for a few years. One day she receives a tip about a supposed suicide, which she covers in a sensationalist manner to generate more attention towards her work. As she researches why this person died, Donna discovers that something sinister happens to the people who make an illegal U-turn. 

Seriously, even from the description of the movie, you can label it as a disaster. A vengeful ghost that torments the people who make a U-turn at a specific place sounds so absurd that it seems like it came out of a comedy. Still, I made an effort to try and enjoy this movie, but it was impossible. Only a few minutes were necessary to confirm that “U-Turn” belongs to the disaster group.

Let's start by talking about the main characters, which seem to be taken out of a cartoon because of how exaggerated they are, and there's really no one that generates some sort of sympathy. Especially the protagonist, interpreted by Kim Chiu (“The Ghost Bride”), makes a series of decisions that define her as a terrible person, and we don't care about her destiny. The purpose of this is to create a redemption arc for the protagonist, but, like many things in Ceno Palomares’ (“Clarita”) script, it is so poorly done that it misses its target. 

“U-Turn” grabs inspiration from other Asian vengeful ghosts movies, particularly from “Ju-On” or “The Grudge”, but it forgets that one of the most impactful elements of these movies was its visuals. The makeup effects on this movie are downright shameful and look like the work of a rookie. Besides, the scenes where they want to include a frightening moment or a jump scare are predictable and fail miserably. 

“U-Turn” is the most recent disaster that Netflix adds to its platform. With a mix of exaggerated characters, awful acting, and worse special effects, there is nothing that redeems this movie. On top of that, it has a runtime of about 98 minutes that feels like double. The best thing you can do is take a U-turn away from this movie (sorry for the cheesiness, but I had to do it).

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