Brooke Kamishlian’s review published on Letterboxd:
Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
James Wan returns to Horror with a bang, and a lot of hilarity. It is rare to find an effective and unique villain anymore, and he delivers big time in a third act opener that leaves jaws on the floor and is the stuff of a horror fan's dreams!
The lead up is interesting and sufficiently mysterious, taking just enough time to reveal the twist so that you are discovering it in time with the other characters. There's a great moment where a character says she assumes the police routinely work with psychics to solve cases, and the officer replies "That's just in the movies. It doesn't work like that in real life", setting up the next few scenes where "real life" police procedure is thrown out the window in favor of "what only happens in the movies".
It took me a minute of "hey! They can't just do that!" before I realized they just told me this is not real world!
The CGI used was interesting and well done, at times really enhancing a good scare. UNTIL...
Directly following that stunner of a reveal we get a John Wick style action scene replete with obtrusive CGI effects that just don't work. Damn it man!
It doesn't get very much better from there story-wise as the entire problem is solved by saying "I know how to solve this now" with no explanation of how and then BOOM. Done. Solved for now, with the promise of being more prepared the next go round.
So the ending left me underwhelmed, but the incredibly strong visuals and out-of-the-blue cool AF reveal make me very happy with this movie overall. It takes a lot to scare me and there were a few times I actually jumped! This is like a genre lover's dessert. Hits the spot and once gone impossible to stop craving.
On a personal note: I had a friend who dressed up like this for Halloween about 10 years ago. She scared the F out of us with it. I guess I'm surprised I haven't seen it as a villain on screen until now.
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