Rating – *1/2 (1.5/5)

Release – Tarot has now been released in theatres in India.

Some horror films just exist, because movies can be made by anyone and everyone. However, to think that banality and something that is just meh! would even be passable in today’s day and age of having seen thousands of horror films – is kinda sacrilegious.

I mean, you sign up for any horror film knowing that you will subjected to the usual tropes, jump scares and so on but you expect at least some innovation that deserves your attention. Directors, Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen’s latest film, Tarot has none of it. The plotline itself is just so dull that you are immediately led to think and reminisce about all the films that you have already seen that have a similar plot. A group of reckless friends (literally every teen horror movie trope), getting together for a party in the middle of nowhere (because where else would you party at?) and being young teens, they go on to be stupid and have tarot readings which ultimately becomes the indicator of the fate they will be subject to for their deaths (obviously).

In the first 40-odd minutes, the film seemed so Final Destination-esque that I couldn’t get over the similarity of the core concept. Just remove one person having visions (also weird) in the FD franchise and replace it with one member of the group being able to do tarot card readings – and it is barely different from any Final Destination movie. Of course, the thrilling aspect of the FD movies is later replaced with a potload of jump scares and it is so sad to say that almost all of them are ineffective. You do have your occasional jerk-of-the-seat moments but that is as good as someone catching you by surprise when you are least expecting them.

Review of 'Tarot': A banal & humdrum horror film that just exists because movies are being made 893560

Add to that, the characterisation is stereotypical. A group of seven friends has one couple, who has broken up; one other duo who is on the verge of becoming a couple, one friend for colour representation and of course, one friend who is the comic relief. To their credit, the only good portions come out of the funnier moments which are at Jacob Batalon aka Paxton’s expense. The actor’s natural comic prowess adds some zing to the dullness of the entire premise.

The rest of the cast just seems so uninterested, especially during the horror bits. I was bamboozled to think that actor Humberly Gonzalez, who plays Madelyn does not react and has no tears when she and the rest of the group learn about Wolfgang Novogratz aka Lucas’ death – especially because just moments before his death, as the viewer, you were expected to believe that Madelyn and Lucas are a budding couple. It becomes so obvious from frame one and knowing the entire group on who exactly is going to make it till the end and the ones who are going to die – thus making even a super-forgiving runtime of 94 minutes a task to sit through. The cinematography and the setting are even more disappointing where the background score and the screams attached to the jump scares aren’t crisp and clear enough.

Horror filmmakers need to understand to rise above the tropes and try to reinvent themselves not taking their viewers for granted.