May 5, 2024

Play The Hand You're Dealt

Sony Pictures (2024)
This movie is getting destroyed by the reviews.  It's sitting at a 58% audience score and a 12% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.  I'm not going to pretend that it's a five star classic or anything, but it's not bad.  It kind of reminded me of a late 90's middle-of-the-road horror flick, like Urban Legend or I Know What You Did Last Summer.  The cast performances were good, and it told a good story that was fairly predictable but never strayed into the territory of not making sense.  It also made good use of music, especially their use of Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better.

I'm not really sure how realistic this film is from the perspective of someone who believes in or practices tarot readings because I am neither.  My ex-girlfriend was very into this, but it didn't rub off onto me.  I was respectful of her beliefs, or at least I tried to be.  After all, it's really no more outlandish than any other religious or spiritual beliefs out there, but I don't feel connected in any way to any kind of spirituality.  If it makes people feel good and it doesn't hurt anybody, more power to you.  Nothing in this movie jumped out at me as being deliberately disrespectful towards people who believe in tarot readings, or anybody else for that matter, but I can't say for sure.

The movie delivered a cliche that I knew it couldn't resist from the first time that I saw the trailer.  Every single movie or television show that I have ever watched that involves tarot cards in any way has some version of this scene:
  • Person One reveals the Death card from the deck.
  • Person Two reacts to the card with shock and/or fear.
  • Person One reassures Person Two that it doesn't necessarily mean literal death, but the end of something and the start of something new.
I'll give the filmmakers credit that they at least presented it in a way that was fun, but it was still there.  I guess it's hard to pass up the low hanging fruit.  Incidentally, when I searched for an image of the death card that was used in this movie, I found that the title of this film in some overseas markets is Death Card.

If you like horror movies and you're not the overly critical type, I think there's a pretty good chance that you'll enjoy watching this, even if you forget about it entirely a month later.  If you don't like horror, or if you tend to approach movies with an especially critical perspective, it's probably one that you'll want to skip.