Mark Tonderai’s ‘Spell’ (2020) is A Must See, Spell-Binding Thriller – Movie Review

Although 2020 has sucked the life out of most things, I will say some great films have came out of this year including the new brilliant spell-binding thriller, Spell. This film was directed by Mark Tonderai (Locke & Key, House At the End of the Street) written by Kurt Wimmer (Total Recall, 2012). It stars Omari Hardwick (Power), Loretta Devine (Crash), and Lorraine Burroughs (The Five).


Synopsis for Spell

A man crash lands in rural Appalachia and awakens in the attic of a traditional Hoodoo practitioner. He desperately tries to break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

When it comes to this film, one thought instantly came to my mind. My friend and soon to be PopHorror writer, Shanice, summed it up perfectly when she said, “this film looks like the black version of Misery but with Voodoo.” That’s exactly how I felt when watching this film and it was great because I love Stephen King’s Misery and I feel it’s honestly one of the best film adaptations out there. Spell delivered phenomenal performances, a delightfully twisted story with several cringeworthy moments, and dark magic woven throughout it. I also would like to make mention that this film is about Hoodoo magic versus Voodoo, some viewers have confused the two.


Omari Hardwick delivers an emotionally powerful performance that rattled me to my core. Not only does he go through the pain of losing and searching for his family, he’s put in a life or death situation with an unstable woman who inflicts horrible pain onto him. That woman was played by the brilliant Loretta Devine, who gives Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bate’s character in Misery) a run for her money in the insanity department. She’s ruthlessly brutal and oh so good at it.

Spell was shot incredibly well with intense imagery and spectacular lighting. Both help create a magically creepy atmosphere that was both haunting and beautiful. It also delivered incredible special effects and FX makeup. Some of the scenes in this film are freaking brutal and made me cringe and look away, which is a rare thing for me to do. You know that famous toe-curling scene in Misery? Well, Spell takes it up a notch x 1000 with one particular scene and I almost lost it. This film doesn’t hold back!

Final Thoughts

Much like Jordan Peele’s Get Out (read our review – HERE) and US (read our review – HERE), this film was predominately black and I loved that. We need more representation in film and I hope this continues. Everything about Spell was awesome and I think it’s the perfect film to watch on Halloween! Spell is set to release in select theaters and at-home on PVOD on October 30, 2020 via Paramount Pictures, so be sure to check it out!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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