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  • Writer's pictureJamie

Tarot - Review

Hey look, it's another 2024 horror film that wasted my time! I know horror has a bad reputation but this year seems to be cursed with how many poor films are being pumped into cinemas, doing badly in the box office and fading away. I will not let them get away with it. Tarot joins an elite crew of just too cliche and unaware films about a group of people doing something boring and facing consequences. There are admittedly a couple of good jumpscares at the beginning and very slight moments of tension that I can get on board with, but it falls off a cliff of suspense halfway through and then just drags itself to the finish line. Although, they do give you the zodiac signs of all the main characters, so I’m sure the astrological girlys are going to eat this up trying to work out dynamics between characters.

A group of college students are at an old manor for a boozy weekend, where they drink so much that it would actually put them all in a medical coma. Unfortunately, they run out of alcohol and decide to enter the room with the “keep out” sign on it, in hopes of finding a full working bar. Instead, they find a creepy basement with dusty old knick-knacks and creepy lighting. Among the things, the group find a wooden box that contains a box of hand painted tarot cards and they convince the cliche spiritualist to do their readings. She takes turns going around the group, giving fortunes to her friends, from the unneeded comedic relief to the technologically obsessed expendable. 

Their fortunes are very specifically worded, to include words like that may or may not be a harbinger to their deaths. 

Creepiness ensues and the friends go back to the college campus, where the real creepiness kicks up. With the group being cursed and hunted down by their cards, they need to try and track down a horror legend in order to cameo as a fountain of knowledge in how to stop the evil and save their fleeting romances.

The story is fine, its been done so many incredibly multiple times in so many ways, with all the same characters. Yes, it's predictable and not very tense, but I will give it some moments of jump and the fact that it just rolls with its blandness. There is comic relief in the form of Jacob Batalon, who I find very charismatic and likeable in what I’ve seen him in. I just think he was so unneeded in this film. There isn’t really a need for levity in a horror film that has almost nothing making it dark. Its main cast has enough sceptics and brushing off to last a generation, and the slowest understanding of the premise I’ve seen in a long time.

The scares are fine, with their own little formula by the end, removing any of the mystery, intrigue or tension. In the first few scares, I was on board for it, going along with the pacing of the scares, making me jump at times and earning the first few too. It just becomes drawn out by the end, with a particular death scene in the latter part of the film that goes on for so long that I thought we might just stay with it for the rest of the runtime.

The look of the film is pretty clean, using the darkness well, with some nice candlelit ambience. The camera isn’t really doing anything beyond the norm with its choices but it shows you what you need to see, in a way that does it’s best to create an atmosphere. 

I’m really hoping this is it for bland horror for 2024, I can’t take it anymore. There are a few that I’m looking forward to coming up, so I have my fingers crossed that they save the year, along with The First Omen and Immaculate. Overall, Tarot does nothing interesting with its premise, tries to make horoscopes scary, in a way that makes me think they based the entire film on their old title; “Horrorscope”. Once the title was changed, I think they could have scraped the idea and went back to the writers room. 


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