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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Review: Queen of Spades

Director: Patrick White

Screenplay: John Ainslie

Year: 2021

After a disturbing event, a group of teenagers discovers the myth of the Queen of Spades. As a joke and without believing that it was true, the youngsters decide to perform the ritual to invoke her. Now they must face the horrors that will befall them and their loved ones by an entity that wants their souls.

The opening scene of “Queen of Spades” features a group of stereotypical American teenagers who are about to witness an event that will change their lives. A young man decides to jump from the roof of a building to end his life, but, although battered, he survives the jump. Among the little that he can verbalize when the group of friends comes to his aid, he manages to say the phrase Queen of Spades.

By the magic of the modern information flow, our protagonists quickly find what the young man was referring to: an ancient myth transformed into an urban legend. As the obligatory scene passes explaining how to perform the ritual, we see that it is nothing more than a variation of the Bloody Mary myth and ritual, which is somewhat disappointing. Still, I was willing to give it a chance.

As you would expect in a horror movie with teenage protagonists, the group performs the ritual. At first, it seems that nothing is happening and that everything is a joke, but little by little they begin to experience paranormal events that affirm that the ritual is real. As you begin to see the ravages of the Queen of Spades, the film’s problems also start to surface. 

The structure of “Queen of Spades,” which is a kind of remake of the 2015 Russian film “Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite,” follows as generic a supernatural story as possible. The queen marks her victims and kills them one by one, taking the opportunity to reveal the collection of paranormal clichés that director Patrick White makes use of and marks a disappointing debut in this role. The special effects are perhaps the best thing about the movie, and they are not that special either. Ava Preston ("I'll Take Your Dead") leads a cast whose performance is neither bad nor good and is keeps up with the rest of the film.

"Queen of Spades" is based on the Russian version of the Bloody Mary myth, but it is just another generic version of the story. Not only that, but also its characters, situations, horror moments, and jump scares are the ones we usually see in countless supernatural horror movies. Void in originality and little effectiveness in what it presents, it tries to be an average horror movie but falls below this.

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