IMDb Rating: 5.9/10
NC-17 | 1h 40min | Horror, Mystery | 09 Sep 2020 (Mexico) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 77 % Fresh (Critics), 39% Rotten (Audiences)
Director: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour
Writer: Wade Allain-Marcus, Stephen Herman, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour
Stars: Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashad, Amanda Christine
IMDb summary: After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.
Black box isn’t easy to navigate as an audience. The concept behind the plot could easily be missed if you’re not paying attention. And that makes it harder to understand exactly what is happening with the principal character Nolan played by Marmoudou Athie. But we think this works in the films’ favour.
The basic plot focuses on Nolan, who has recovered from a terrible car accident that killed his wife. His injuries were very serious, and it was a miracle he didn’t end up brain dead. But slowly, he is trying to put his life back together with the help of his marvellous daughter Ava played by Amanda Christie. Little by little, things fall in place except he has enormous gaps in his memory.
That is when doctor Lilian steps in to reverse the injuries done to Nolan’s brain by using hypnosis therapy with something she calls the “black box”. Nolan is introduced to this new therapy, but during hypnosis, he is constantly stalked by an unknown entity. Lilian assures him it is just part of the process and Nolan continues the therapy at her insistence..
As the story unfolds, we realise why Lilian was so keen to help Nolan – she was really helping herself. And this is where a straight-forward story takes a sudden twist into darkness. But it’s Halloween season and for this reason, we’re willing to go as dark as it can get.
This instalment from Blumhouse is definitely a mixed bag. While The Lie was a little more straightforward, both pieces are a microscopic view of the human condition. Why we continue to put ourselves into situations, we know we will never recover from, and why we allow our own perception of things to guide us when we know that they’re wrong. Sometimes we are gluttons for punishment, and other times we are consistently misguided by our feelings and our perception of the truth.
That’s kind of deep, right – and all of that from two little horror flicks most people will probably ignore. Don’t let this one fly under your radar, folks!
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.