Spell: Never Forget Your Roots

Spell is a horror film directed by Mark Tonderai. The plot sees successful lawyer Marquis (Omari Hardwick), find out that his abusive father has died. As a result he takes his family back to where he grew up to pay their final respects. During the trip the family’s plane goes down over Appalachia and Marquis wakes up in the attic of an old school hoodoo practitioner who has sinister designs for him and his family.

I went into this film with high expectations and it met them. I enjoyed the examination of traditional folk magic, it is not a topic often covered in the horror genre especially this type, but here it is done well and to great effect, creating some genuinely tense and unnerving scenes.

Like most good horror films, this one priorities atmosphere over jump scares. Over its runtime the film creates a constant sense of unease, we never know if Marquis is going to escape or what the fate of his family is and there are a lot of teases and red herrings scattered in throughout to throw us off.

There are also some grizzly bits of gore that will make you skin crawl and make you wince, yes I am talking about the nail scene.

My one complaint of the film would be its ending. Yes, the final showdown is exciting to watch, but it feels too neat. Things go from a tense cat and mouse game that seems skewed against Marquis, to a brawl that will either see him and his family safe or dead: naturally this does away with any tension.

Overall, a very effective horror film that I enjoyed very much if the ending could have been better it would have been getting top marks.

Pros.

The atmosphere

The gore and the scares

The focus on folk Magic

Omari Hardwick

The supporting cast

Cons.

The ending is too neat

4.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

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