One Line Review: BINGO HELL is a fun and, at times, silly horror film with a fast pacing, characters you can’t help but root for, and a few gory extra death scenes thrown in for good measure.
Earlier this year, horror fans around the world were treated to the first installment of Welcome to the Blumhouse, which consisted of four new thrillers, each of which had its own unique point of view to offer. Now, the second wave of Welcome to the Blumhouse films is set to hit theaters just in time for the Halloween season, which will be released in October. Begining with Gigi Saul Guerrero’s BINGO HELL, viewers will be treated to an abundance of humor, good times, and chaotic bloody goodness throughout this horror film.
Analysis of the plot
Viewers are introduced to Lupita (Adriana Barraza), a feisty senior neighborhood activist who is determined to keep the low-income community of Oak Springs together. The film begins with an opening sequence that establishes a chaotic and enriched tone. The threat of gentrification, on the other hand, is looming over the community, as more and more neighbors are selling their businesses and homes and leaving the once-close-knit neighborhood. A sinister undertone begins to emerge when the local bingo hall is purchased by Mr. Big, a businessman who is as suave as they come and as suave as they can get (Richard Brake). Not long after, Lupita’s friends and neighbors begin to be seduced by the gleaming, glossy allure of his newly opened Bingo Hall. And, not long after that, the bodies begin to pile up. As the clock begins to tick, Lupita must decide whether she will be able to protect her neighborhood from the most serious threat it has faced thus far, or whether she will be forced to go bottoms up.
Extra seasonings of feelings
BINGO HELL is without a doubt one of the most outlandish, silly, and entertaining of the four Welcome to the Blumhouse films released this year, and it fits in perfectly with the overall tone of the series. People will definitely be on their toes as they watch the death scenes, which are executed onscreen with disorienting camerawork that aims to keep the audience’s heads spinning just as much as the potential victims, or the flashy and overwhelming nature of the Casino set-up in the new Bingo Hall. Because of the way the film is edited, as well as the actors, who are all willing to take on whatever is thrown at them, and the snappy script, this film is highly entertaining to watch. When it comes to seriousness, this film may not be the best choice for those seeking a more serious tone in their entertainment. The undercurrent storyline about the community’s relationship with the rapidly disappearing Oak Springs is still compelling, even in the midst of realtors and hipsters vying for available real estate. This is a much lighter affair in terms of tone.
Characters and the overall performance of the cast
One of the most significant successes of BINGO HELL can be attributed in part to the outstanding performances and deeply developed characters that we see onscreen. It’s clear that Adriana Barraza and Richard Brake are going for the gold with their delivery. Although their performances are sincere, especially with Brake’s Mr. Big literally oozing sleaze, it all comes across as genuine and effective. Especially in light of the tone Guerrero and his crew have established. L. Scott Caldwell is another popular author who has a likable personality. With her Dolores attempting her damnedest to reel in her crazy ass friend, her line delivery is excellent. By the film’s climactic final act, viewers will be hard-pressed not to root for Barraza’s Lupita, flaws and all, and her friend Dolores to have a bad outcome for them. Every one of these accomplishments is a testament to the effort put forth by the actors, the strength of the character development in the script, and the direction of Guerrero.
However, there is one particular plot point in BINGO HELL that does not seem to have any connection to the film’s conclusion. In the events leading up to this point, there is some character development that hints at the moral compromises Lupita will make in the future. However, it does not appear as if enough was done to tie the various threads together. When we got to that particular point in the final act, the comparisons that one would naturally make fell a little short, and I’m not sure if it was because of Barazza’s approach to the character or because of the writing itself. That, combined with the final revelation from Lupita and Barazza’s delivery, does give the impression that it is a little hollow.
BINGO HELL is a fun and, at times, silly horror film with fast pacing, characters you can’t help but root for, and a few gory extra death scenes thrown in for good measure. The film BINGO HELL has plenty of heart, and while it can be easy to get caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the story, it also has a lot of humor. A lot of people will identify with the story of a low-income community struggling to survive in the face of a rapidly escalating wave of gentrification, which is told in the film. It is highly recommended that you add this to your viewing schedule!