Let’s go to school.

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I like horror movies set in schools. Something about a school setting at night is inherently creepy. In Eerie, we follow an all girl’s Catholic boarding school.  The counselor, Miss Pat investigates student suicides and discovers a darker secret.

We are thrown into this narrative at an odd place. One student has already killed herself, and we see another get murdered (ruled as a suicide though), and then a third. A third of the way into the film we don’t really know any of the students. The only one we get much time with is the ghost of Erika, the first kill who killed herself.

The mystery elements of the film are framed well enough, but it’s hard to be invested when only Miss Pat seems to not be an overbearing ass. The higher ups (including the priest) seem more concerned with the prestige of the school than the safety of the students, which isn’t really that much of a stretch…

Anyway, I had a hard time with this film because for whatever reason nothing engaged me in it. I ended up taking a break and just wondering around in my garage for about ten minutes halfway through. Why this film failed to capture my attention isn’t exactly clear.

The film looks fine. The camera work gives a nice decayed vibe to the school, and a lot of the scenes do give a sense of claustrophobia. However, it seems that these folks don’t believe in lighting. Even daytime counseling sessions are almost laughable dreary in the drab and washed-out greenish brown of the school. Hell, the nighttime shots are just about the same lighting wise.

The plot is fairly derivative. Horror hounds will figure out most of the nuts and bolts of what is happening (even if the details are blurry) fairly early. Newcomers to the genre might get more mileage out the plot.

The reliance on jump scares is frustrating. However, the worse sin is that the film is simply boring. I’d wager at least 30% of the narrative is Miss Pat (or another character) wandering around empty hallways while moderately creepy music plays. I don’t need the 50 shots of the statue with her eyes covered to get the symbolism. None of these ideas are that deep.

The bummer is that this movie is just good enough to not be made fun of in a fun way. It is dreary and dark but it also too familiar (and slow) to really get anything out of. Everything is competently done. I don’t know, I’d rather watch absolute crap that I can least make jokes about than something that fails to elicit an emotional reaction with me.

I think this is just another Netflix original that is good enough to stream but not good enough to seek out. I’d say skip it.

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