Day 5 of the NOFS horror movie challenge is first time watch. This gave me a lot of options, but I knew what I was going to choose. Séance was added to the service Shudder last week as a Shudder Original. I had put off watching it because I knew that I would have a reason to watch it pretty early in the challenge. I had heard a lot about the movie because I follow Simon Barrett on Twitter and he gave plenty of updates about it as well as movies that he watched during production.
Séance was written and directed Simon Barrett. It stars Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Ella-Rae Smith, Inanna Sarkis, Seamus Patterson, and Marina Stephenson-Kerr. I’ve been a fan of Barrett’s other movies and was intrigued to see his directorial debut. I’ve not seen any of the actors in anything, but I’ve heard good things about a movie that Suki Waterhouse was in. She was in the movie The Bad Batch, and I’ve heard some good things about it. The cast has great chemistry together. Inanna Sarkis plays the mean girl head bitch really well.
The following sections contain spoilers. Do yourself a favor and watch the movie for yourself.
Séance takes place at an all-girl’s high school. It starts with a group of friends performing a local legend that’s kind of like a version of Bloody Mary. Its actually a prank that freaks one of them out, Kerrie. She goes back to her room and the next time you see her she’s dead outside. A new girl arrives shortly after and moves into Kerrie’s room. Later that day she runs afoul of Kerrie’s friends and they gang up and beat the shit out of her for a few seconds before the head master stops them. They’re all given detention and during the first session of detention they decide to perform a séance. Everyone is freaked out by the séance. One of the friends goes off to take a selfie and is killed. The next day people think that Lenora has run off with some boy because some of her things were gone. After the group discover a cross on Lenora’s bed they start to investigate the student that was the basis for the Edelvine Ghost. That night another of the friends, Rosalind, is killed. This time her body is found by Camille and ruled an accident. Another séance is performed the next day and Camille is blamed for Rosalind’s death. The main mean girl, Alice, then punches Camille in the face. The other girls text people in case something happens to them. Shortly after another of the friends, Yvonne, practices for her dance recital but is killed part of the way through. That night Alice is texted by Yvonne’s phone telling her that she’s with Lenora and they both want her to go outside to meet with them. Camille is staying with Helina, a friend that she made and shared with Kerrie, and hears Alice leave her room. Camille follows her and is attacked by a masked person. Alice finds Lenora’s body and is then knocked out outside. Camille wakes up to both masked people getting her and Alice ready to be murdered. It turns out the son of the headmaster, Trevor, and the last member of the friend group, Bethany, have been behind all of the deaths. It was actually Trevor committing the murders with Bethany choosing the victims. They planned on framing Camille for all of the murders after killing Alice. It turns out the Camille isn’t really who she has said she was. She grew up with Kerrie and came to Edelvine to find out what actually happened to her. “Camille” ends up killing both Bethany and Trevor after some pretty intense fighting. The movie ends with “Camille” and Helina sharing a kiss and “Camille” leaves the schoolgrounds.
There’s only one section of the CG effects that looks kinda bad. I’m not even sure what all there was but one bad shot in a movie isn’t bad. The music was done by Sicker Man. The score is really good.
Séance wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going in. I even saw a tweet from Barrett saying that it was a slasher, but I was expecting something else. I was pleasantly surprised, and I recommend this to anyone looking for a new horror movie to watch. You can find it on Shudder. I give Séance 9 makeshift planchettes out of 10.