Ciarán Foy’s Eli is a surprise because Netflix is at best uneven as far as their horror offerings go. In other words, for every The Haunting Of Hill House there’s at least three Hemlock Groves.
Luckily Eli is closer to the former than the latter.
Foy has a faculty for directing younger people, and Eli is no exception as he gets great performances out of Charlie Shotwell (Eli) and Sadie Sink (Haley) though if you like what he does with the younger set you’ll be equally in awe of the performances from Kelly Reilly (Rose), Max Martini (Paul) and Lili Taylor (Dr. Rose).
And the story goes where no one could possibly expect it to (that I’m aware of. I need to watch it again to make sure I didn’t miss anything the first time around that somehow gave it’s ending away) which in weaker hands would be a sign that’s it’s badly written but the three writers, David Chirchirillo, Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing had matters well in hand.
Eli is a blast and has perhaps the unfortunate side effect of getting me psyched for Netflix’s horror offerings that don’t happen to be directed by Mike Flanagan).