FRIGHTFEST 2019: The Grump Of Horror Reviews ‘Black Circle’

Celeste is giving a vinyl album by her sister Isa that she says changed her life. She instructs Celeste to put side 2 of the album on when she is about to go to sleep. However, she discovers the dark truth about the album…

When going to a festival like FrightFest, I tend to have a quick look at the website to see what films are on and what it says about them. I won’t, for example, look for the film’s trailer. I prefer going in blind, knowing as little as possible.

I mention this as based on what I read there, I thought the film was going to veer into Invasion Of The Body Snatchers territory. And certainly in its opening half hour or so it seems to be going that way.

And then it falls apart.

Throughout the film we get scenes describing the effect of magnetism and the difference between that and hypnotism and the subsequent effect on people. To be honest, I’m not sure I fully understood it.

However that for me was one of the lesser issues of the film. It is structured into several parts and in one of them it introduces a young couple who seem to have psychic powers. They meet a woman who has abilities of her own, making her more powerful. It is to them, the sisters turn for help when the begin to realise they need help.

What follows is a final act that really is one of the dullest I’ve seen recently as the woman, Lena, uses the power of the two psychics to help the sisters…which involves one of them running…and running…and running.

She does so much running that I thought she was running a marathon.

It’s a last act that really has no tension in it at all. And for me that’s perhaps the biggest problem with the film, as the basic idea was okay and the opening part of the film was certainly intriguing enough.

Black Circle (or Svart Cirkel) was written and directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano and while I have issues with the story and writing, I did think the direction was not bad, though, as said, there was a lack of tension in the second half of the film.

The cast are okay too. Christina Lindberg plays Lena the woman who tries to help the sisters and she’s not bad as are Felice Jankell and Erica Midfjell as the sisters Celeste and Isa. The supporting cast do well too.

But despite decent direction and acting, it just can’t overcome the writing. It had the potential to be a perhaps creepy little film, but while there are moments that are eerily effective in the first half, but that final act really didn’t work for me at all.

Black Circle for me is a missed opportunity. It could have been a creepy little film, but instead came over as a bit dull.

Rating: ** out of 5

About Bill

Founder/Head Writer of The Horrorcist.

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