FILM REVIEW - THE CHOSEN

14:12 Jazz Blackwell 0 Comments

Title: The Chosen (2015)
Genre: Supernatural horror
Starring: Kian Lawley, Angelica Chitwood, Mykayla Sohn
Director: Ben Jehoshua 
Warnings: Some graphic violence, blood, horrific/unsettling imagery, strong language, scenes of a sexual nature
My rating: 2.5/5


I'll preface this post with an apology about being M.I.A for over a month. Any student in the UK will know that exam season is basically upon us, and I've not made a post because between revising and working, I've had little to no time to read - or do much of anything, in all honesty. I didn't think anybody would be interested in repetitive posts about "look guys, I made a mindmap" "Hey look, another mindmap!" "Guess what I made? Surprise! It's a mindmap." 

I did, however, allow myself a break during this week's half term and perused Netflix for something satisfyingly horrific to watch. Been a scare-junkie as I am, I've already watched a good 95% of the horror movies that are on Netflix. This one had been on my watch list for a while, but I was hesitant to click the play button because of the poor reviews it had received, both on Netflix and online. After watching the 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror for the umpteenth time, however, I decided I needed a change from Ryan Reynolds' face, glorious though it may be. So I bit the bullet and put this one on. 

Sad to say, I see where all the critics are coming from. 

The first alarm bell for me should've been that the film stars Kian Lawley, a YouTuber. Now, I've nothing against Kian - in the few videos of his that I've seen, he seems like a perfectly nice bloke and he's actually not a terrible actor. I just find that, historically, YouTubers making horror films doesn't tend to go well (Shane Dawson's Smiley, anyone?). Unfortunately, this film was no exception. 

As a concept the storyline is actually fairly interesting.  It centres around the demon Lilith, Adam's first wife who was shunned out of the Garden of Eden and has her mouth sealed shut and her womb cursed, so that she may never bear children. Embittered and angry, she stalks the earth stealing away the souls of children and taking them back to Hell with her. In the context of the film, once Lilith has decided she wants a child's soul, she will take it within six days - unless she is offered a sacrifice of six other souls directly from the child's bloodline. 

The film focuses on Cam (Lawley) a young man who, upon visiting his sister Caitlin (Chitwood), a recovering junkie who is only allowed to see daughter Angie (Sohn) in secret, hears a fight in the flat next door. When he goes to break it up, the man escapes and Cam is immediately berated by the woman, Sabrina, with confusing statements like "He was the last one" and "She's going to take my baby." When Cam retrieves Angie from the now-missing baby's bedroom, he discovers her acting strangely and she immediately falls ill. Cam demands Sabrina give him answers, and she passes on a book which explains that he must sacrifice six other family members in order to save Angie from being taken by Lilith. Cam and Caitlin are then left with the most difficult of decisions - which of their relatives are they willing to kill? 

Now as I said, the storyline itself has a lot of potential and the acting in the film is actually pretty decent. The execution of the story, however, leaves quite a lot to be desired as far as I'm concerned. For a start there are a lot of questions that remain entirely unanswered throughout the film, mostly centring around a mysterious nun whose purpose, aside from egging Cam on to kill, is never really fully explained. The final scene of the film - again, involving the nun - also makes very little sense unless Terror Films are planning on making a sequel - which, as far as I can tell, they aren't. The special effects also aren't great. I understand that the movie wasn't a high-budget, Hollywood deal but honestly? The SFX here looked like they're more befitting of a cheesy 1980s B-Movie than a 21st century indie flick. To be honest scenes that should've been scary or unsettling are just made kind of humorous by poor SFX. The score is also not the greatest choice for such a film - even in other bad horror movies I've watched (a prime example being Del Toro's Mama), the music has at least built tension if not put me on edge. Unfortunately just didn't cut it in this film. 

In conclusion, I wouldn't say avoid this film. It's decently entertaining, just don't go into expecting anything frightening. Again, Kian seems like an absolutely cracking lad and I absolutely wish him the best in any creative projects he peruses. This one just didn't cut the mustard for me, I'm afraid. 

Happy reading,
Jazz xo

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