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Tarot

Updated: May 24

The new horror thriller TAROT makes me wistful for the comparative cinematic brilliance of "Final Destination 4". You always knew what you were getting with the FD series, but damn did they deliver some cool deaths.

That's not in the cards here.

We meet a group of college students so stereotypical they could be out of a Casting 101 manual.

The only standout is Jacob Batalon (Ned in the recent Spider-Man films) as the non-stop talker/comedian of the bunch, Paxton.

Paxton and his squad rent a house far from their Boston college, an old creaky mansion in the woods. Super idea kids! Was Camp Crystal Lake unavailable on VRBO?

When they run out of beer, they do what every good weekend rental client does, they bust down doors looking for the locked up liquor.

In a feat of stupidity so bold it seems like a parody of the Geico Halloween commercial where the dopes hide behind the chainsaws, they bust into the creepy basement.

No liquor, but they do find some creepy Tarot cards that look hand painted in blood and horrifying. Like morons in poorly written horror flicks should do, they decide to have their group mystic Haley (Harriet Slater) do a reading for each of them.

Faster than you can yell Blackjack! each of them are being hunted down by the creature depicted on their 13th card.

With a PG-13 rating, this was doomed to not be scary. But it didn't have to be so damn dumb. Most of the scary creatures are Spirit Store level creepy and there is no real horror.

The best sequence is the impending death of the central casting, genetically gifted, square jawed Lucas. Wolfgang Novogratz is solid as Lucas and the use of darkness and light in an underground subway station is well done.

Ireland's own Olwen Fouere (The Northman, Halo) is the best thing in the film as a psychic who has seen this kind of thing happen before and has long been on the trail of those tarot cards. She brings some interesting atmosphere every time she's on screen.

Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring, Insidious) got me a couple times with his screeching violins, but even he seems to be phoning it in compared to his superb scores for "The Conjuring" films.

This is the kind of movie where a couple takes time to talk about how much they love each other as three demons, the devil and Death himself stalk them through a house with a couple rooms on fire, the flames of hell encroaching from stage left.

You can't fix stupid.

TAROT, I fold. You get a D.



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