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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Review: The Mad Hatter

Director: Catherine Devaney

Screenplay: RV Romero and Catherine Devaney

Year: 2021

A psychology professor recruits volunteers for a study he wants to carry out in a house that belonged to a hat maker. Four students agree to participate in the research and spend a weekend at the house. When students begin to have visions of the home's past, it becomes clear that this is not just any study.

With a name like "The Mad Hatter", it is not strange to expect that this movie had something to do with the beloved character of Alice in Wonderland. For a moment, I fell into the trap and thought it would be an unofficial movie about the origin of this character, but it couldn't have been further from the truth. However, this is not even remotely the worst disappointment this movie provides.

The most severe problem is the lack of a plot. The protagonists simply arrive at the house and begin to experience paranormal events. We do not get to know the characters in-depth, we do not know what the purpose of the caretakers in the house is, and the only character that should be enigmatic is the only one that we suspect about their intentions since early on. It is also unclear why the students begin to experience visions at the house; it just happens.

The plot feels like it’s about to take off many times, but it never does, leaving us at the mercy of what the characters can achieve. However, the characters are generic, and their minor development prevents us from being interested in them even a little. What little background we get from some comes in the form of trauma from the past, which is repeated so many times that it becomes extremely boring. All of this helps make the characters the kind we've seen so many times that when the movie is over, we don't even remember their names, and we don't care at all what happens to them.

The audiovisual aspect is not saved either. The background music is repetitive and becomes too present, affecting the scenes. The cinematography tries to offer an artistic style that is clumsy and does not fit the film’s tone. But worse than all of this is the CGI, which is shameful but showcased as its best attribute.

"The Mad Hatter", instead of being a dark story of the beloved characters of Alice in Wonderland, is a disaster of a movie that has nothing to do with the character. It is nothing more than a collection of failed ideas, from its visuals to its horror, which is as non-existent as its plot.

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