Bingo Hell

Another entry in Blumhouse & Amazon’s October Double Feature promotion.  Similar to Axelle Carolyn’s The Manor, Bingo Hell focuses around a group of senior citizens, and, in particular, on one bad ass, battle-axe old lady.

Lupita, played with gusto by Adriana Barraza, is the matriarch of Oak Springs, a small town nearing the end of its days… neighbours moving away and businesses closing up shop. Lupita is the beacon keeping the remaining, and predominantly elderly, population in good spirits… until some sinister competition arrives in the form of the always entertaining Richard Brake.  Mr Big and his new Bingo Hall promises big prizes… but dire consequences.  People start dying and Lupita sees her calling and takes up the fight to save her community and destroy Mr Big and his hall.

The movie feels a lot like Needful Things – a waning town and it’s despondent inhabitants are given exactly what they want but at a price they can’t pay. But that not much of an issue because almost everything else is great.

The cast is all around stellar, and while there are some character decisions and choices I find problematic – characters jumping all over the emotional spectrum, resulting is weird turns – the parts are played so well that it’s pretty much all forgivable.  The cast really pull you into the story – Brake and Bazzara are given lots to work with and carry the movie with ease but everyone here is pulling their weight. I really like that these aren’t stereotypical grandmotherly types.. the seniors here smoke, spit, drink, swear and it’s great and feels like something we never get to see in Hollywood.

The shot composition and editing are choppy and staccato but it works and adds some cool visual style to the flick.  All of the filmmaking side is performed with obvious passion and skill. GSG is continuing to show herself as a rising star in the horror community.

It rushes a bit much and probably could have used some more time… the film spends a decent amount of time introducing Oak Springs and its citizens – which is great, it never drags, and gives a good feel for the town.. but unfortunately it’s takes a lot away from the clippy 87min runtime… The movie would have benefitted from a few extra minutes to flesh out the ending. More Lupita being a badass too.  She’s so great.

The gore and slime are fun and look great, though I would have loved to see more. The kills we get are awesome, if a little sparse, and, while never scary, shot with appropriate suspense and creep factor.

All in all Bingo Hell is a (too) quick, good time with lots of upside and nothing too egregious on the negative side. 

Worth the watch. Looking forward to more of from Gigi Saul Guerrero. 3.5/5.

Written by Mark Wilmont.