Seance: A Boarding School For Mature Students


I have been very impressed by the prior work of Simon Barrett, he was involved in the creation of two of my favourite films of all time The Guest and You’re Next; however, in both cases he also had Adam Wingard as backup. Here Barrett is on his own, with this being his directional debut and it becomes clear very early on just how much Barrett needs his fellow mumblecore pioneers like Wingard, as this film begins to fall apart.

So before getting into all the reasons the film doesn’t work I want to give it praise for what it does well. The twist, that I won’t spoil here, that comes in towards the end of the film is actually surprising and I didn’t see it coming, it flips the film on its head which makes it infinitely more interesting.

The issues with this film mainly come from how cliché a lot of it is, all the teen angst/ mean girls stuff is incredibly played out from the beginning; and it is more than a little weird that all these ‘teen girls’ at this boarding school are actually late twenty/ early thirty year olds in real life- it makes the film somewhat unbelievable.

Furthermore, I did not find this film scary. The supernatural element feels again familiar and poses nothing new for genre fans or even those who watch more than one horror film a year: I found the scare set ups to be incredibly obvious as well.

Overall, very generic and mediocre.


The twist

It is relatively well paced


The supernatural element

The scares

The mean girls story cliches

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