Director: Simon Barrett
Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)
Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Inanna Sarkis, Ella-Rae Smith, Stephanie Sy, Djouliet Amara
Plot: Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one of the student’s untimely and violent death.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Séance starts in the aftermath of an accident, Camille Meadows (Waterhouse) arrives at Fairfield Academy to replace the deceased student, where Camille must learn of the politics between the girls with Alice (Sarkis) leading the bully parade to welcome he.
When the girls perform a séance, they find themselves getting haunted by an unknown presence, Camille and Alice must learn to put their differences aside to figure out what it behind the haunting.
Thoughts on Séance
Characters & Performances – Camille Meadows is the new student to the school, she takes the recently deceased girls room and it doesn’t take long before she finds herself clashing with the school bullies. She won’t take it lying down, when she finds herself caught in the middle of a previous séance the girls summoned. She knows how to deal with the pranks the bullies are looking to pull on her and leads the investigation when one of the girls goes missing. Suki Waterhouse does bring this smarter figure to this world, one which will show us that have been in the world more than the boarding school. Alice is the lead of the bullies, along with the rest of the group they do what they want in the school, controlling the pranks they do on the students. She is the typical mean girl, quick to react to anything that goes against her. This is where the supporting cast does struggle to make an impact, all the bully group struggling to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to the film being set in a school, it does feel like we have only one teacher and the group involved, it never feels like there is anyone else there.
Story – The story follows a new girl starting an exclusive boarding school after the death of one of the students, she must deal with the typical new girl treatments before finding herself in the middle of a series of hauntings, with the student vanishing. This does tend to follow the slasher style of horror, despite trying to play itself as a supernatural one. We know how the picking off selection tends to happen and despite certain things happening, the girls still play the idea that horror films don’t exist, making silly decisions when a friend has either gone missing or been killed. Once you step away from this, we get an entertaining story along the way, which will you leave trying to figure out the truth.
Themes – Séance is a horror mystery that will use the boarding school as the main location, showing us the girls will have to learn to trust each other through the events of the horror, which will fall into the slasher side of horror, despite wanting to make more of a use of an actual séance to create what is happening. The scares are slowly built up, coming more from the alone sequences, relying on the darkness for more effect.
Final Thoughts – Séance is a creepy slasher, that doesn’t hold on some of the brutal scenes, only to struggle to build the world the vents take place in.