The Netflix original film “Eli” premiered Oct. 18, and people had high hopes for it because of actress Sadie Sink’s growing popularity. Even just the trailer caused people to anticipate the film’s release.
“Eli” also stars Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini and Lili Taylor.
The film primarily is based on Shotwell’s character Eli, who is a young boy suffering from a rare disease that does not allow him to be outside. Eli has to wear protective gear most of his life because of his extreme allergy to the outdoors. With the help of his parents, Rose and Paul, they take him away to Dr. Isabella Horns’ protected medical facility, which leads to certain revelations. The viewer will soon realize that something is not right about Dr. Horns.
Rose’s love for her son is surely displayed throughout the film; the scenes are set up to show the relationship between a mother and son, which is evident in the final scene.
The film then brings in Sadie Sink’s character, Haley, who plays Eli’s mentor, but their communication is only through a glass wall. The relationship between the two is set up for a major reveal at the end, which was pleasant to watch.
Where the film mostly lacked for me was it’s pacing: The way the story unfolded just did not seem to be as pleasing as one would hope.
The character introductions were set up perfectly, while the soundtrack added the well needed dramatic effect to an already eerie story. It also did perfectly with the tones setting up the grim story where it needed to be. Even though all of those things were done well, it wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of the film where I began to feel entertained.
With a truly bizarre and satisfying ending, I can’t help but think if the ending was the middle of the film, it would have been great. While, of course, an A for storytelling was knowing that Eli was not really sick but instead a spawn of the devil with awesome powers.
Even though the film lacked in those important areas, it made up for it in those last minutes of the film. The great acting and awesome special effects when Eli finally uncovered his demonic abilities were very cinematic to say the least. Hopefully, they’re setting up to do a franchise, but even just a sequel would be cool enough to have me on board to watch more. If another film is made, they will hopefully take note of the pacing issues. Beyond that, “Eli” was an enjoyable film with a very pleasing climatic ending sure to leave your jaw on the floor.
Echo Grade: C+