Every year, it’s the same routine. Netflix releases a new “original” horror movie, and then comes the outpouring of articles about how the movie is “so scary, viewers are turning it off”. This year was no exception. But for me, it was the first time I actually decided to give the movie a chance.
Eli is a 2019 horror movie about a young boy named Eli, played by Charlie Shotwell, who seems to be allergic to a lot of things in the natural environment, leading his parents to seek out intense treatment. They find a doctor named Isabella Horn, played by Lili Taylor, who runs what she calls a “clean house” that is supposedly free of all allergens, where children with severe environmental allergies can go and safely undergo treatments to be cured.
Initially, Eli is extremely relieved. He can take off the special suit he wears and make physical contact with his parents. The next day he begins treatments, and finds that they are nearly unbearable. Shortly after beginning treatment he begins to see ghostly figures and becomes more and more sickly. Everything culminates into a pretty remarkable twist, that I wont spoil for you.
I must say, the movie isn’t terrible. The acting is decent, the story is good, and I definitely felt compelled to find out what would happen next. But, I feel like those “so scary, you wont be able to finish it!” articles are ruining these movies. Because of these articles, I was expecting next level scares, and the movie simply didn’t deliver in that way.
I do recommend giving this movie a chance. It has a good creep factor and a pretty interesting ending, but don’t go into it expecting to have your pants scared off. They might wind up unbuttoned, but they ain’t coming off.