What would a season of “Horrors of Netflix” be without the obligatory creepy kid/creepy possessed child film? It’s a horror movie tradition that has been done in every conceivable way and in every possible fashion- leaving little to no room for unique or innovative storytelling. Nevertheless, people keep at it and continue trying to freak audiences out with this done to death plot- and I am here to sit through it and rip it apart.
With one star (just the way I like ’em,) 2015’s “The Chosen” has the expected synopsis:
“To save a young girl from a child-stealing demon, her mother and 19-year-old-uncle must select six other blood relatives for a deadly sacrifice.”
Although I don’t really know why the uncle’s age is pertinent to the description of the plot- I mean, it really doesn’t matter- I would like to say that given the circumstances presented- I would have absolutely no trouble naming six blood relatives I’d sacrifice to a demon. I’d probably sacrifice more of my less-likable family members just to play it safe and make sure the demon was thoroughly appeased.
I’m (half) kidding, of course.
Anyway, let’s get to it. At an hour and twenty eight minutes- which I’m sure will feel like an eternity- I’ll be reviewing and spoiling “The Chosen” at length. If you do not wish to know the details of this movie, including it’s ending- DO NOT CLICK THE “READ MORE/CONTINUE READING” TAB.
Proceed at your own risk!
I love movies that reveal pretty much everything within the first thirty seconds. In this case, “The Chosen” begins with a woman tending to an unseen infant in a crib in what I can describe as the most depressing looking nursery I’ve ever laid eyes on. There’s another woman, bound on the floor nearby- who is revealed to be the sister of the aforementioned woman taking care of the baby- and who is pretty helpless when her sister begins chanting in Spanish and apparently sacrifices her sibling to appease whatever weird demon we’re going to meet in this thing. We never actually see what happens to the sacrificed sister. Her screams just sort of stop abruptly.
The surviving sister ominously tells the baby “just one more” before the opening credits start running.
The movie already reminds me of a Lifetime flick, especially with the opening shots of the exterior of a house in the suburbs, family photographs around the interior of the house- some of which include a little girl we are then shown painting in her bedroom and a teenage guy laying in bed while someone outside his door continues to wake him up by calling his name- Cameron- and telling him to get his ass out of bed.
It’s when the scene cuts to the little girl feeding who I’m assuming is her grandfather that I had my first “wait, what?” moment before we actually meet this family all at once and they’re all terrible. All they do is bicker and throw sarcasm at each other. There’s Cameron, his mother-who-looks-too-young-to-be-his-mother, his niece Angie, the half-dead grandfather, a drunk uncle- and some woman that is screaming at everyone from an upstairs bedroom. Full House, everyone!
Cameron’s niece is living with him, his mother and the rest of the degenerates in the house because her mother/Cameron’s sister is apparently a drug addict. Angie wants to see her mother, which Cameron’s mom strongly opposes- but once she leaves for a weekend and puts Cameron in charge in her absence- he immediately shits all over his mother’s rules and wishes by sneaking Angie out to go see her junkie mom at her seedy apartment.
I would like to point out that the fashion sense of this family is also extremely questionable. Cameron is sporting an absolutely horrendous denim jacket and his sister has some weird leopard print/lace shirt on with studded bracelets and Dear God, it’s a mess.
Anyway, during the visit- Cameron overhears a scuffle coming from the neighbors’ apartment. His sister seems un-phased given the neighborhood- but Cameron runs to help when he heard glass shattering. It turns out, the Spanish woman from the first scene is trying to subdue her next and final sacrifice- but the guy manages to get away when Cameron interferes.
Like any responsible parent would do, Cameron’s sister leaves Angie in the apartment with Cameron, the strange woman, and a screaming baby to go and call the cops rather than take her child with her. Angie is drawn into the nursery- only to have the door slam shut behind her. When Cameron and the woman finally burst in after her- the baby is gone and Angie is in the corner, not really looking like Angie anymore:
No one thinks to immediately call an ambulance or a priest, and Cameron takes his niece- now comatose- home to rest, instead. Naturally, things are extra creepy with weird noises and weird fog/smoke – although we get to meet Cameron’s grandmother- who is so over-the-top it’s actually funny. We meet Cameron’s girlfriend, Megan, too- who has come over to smoke a little weed and have a little sex. She’s not as over-the-top or funny, though. The couple’s foreplay gets interrupted by Angie- who is creepily watching from the door. When Cameron runs after her to probably try to bribe her not to tell anyone what she walked in on- she pulls a disappearing/reappearing somewhere else routine. You all know the drill by now.
The next day, Cameron goes back to his sister’s apartment building. His sister doesn’t really seem to give a shit about her daughter’s condition- so Cameron visits the Spanish woman he’d tried to help prior to Angie being possessed. While waiting for her to answer the door- Cameron spots what looks like a nun in the hallway- but she vanishes as soon as she’d appeared just as the neighbor answers her door. The woman is surprisingly helpful, providing Cameron with a scrapbook detailing Lillith- Adam’s first wife (before he met Eve, apparently) and calling her the “Child Stealer”. She even has some depictions of what Lillith looks like- one of which eerily resembles Lena Headey.
Anyway, Lillith was banished from the Garden of Eden, made a pact with Lucifer to steal the children of Adam and Eve- and here we are. I’m not an expert on religion so I’ll just take this movie’s word that the story is accurate. Anyway, the Spanish woman goes on to tell Cameron that in order to save Angie- he has to “mark” six other blood relatives in blood within a six day window to save her. She even goes as far as to demonstrate with her own blood how the mark works.
I don’t think Cameron is going to have any difficulty finding 6 relatives to kill considering his house is pretty much full of them anyway- but I digress. While Cameron is away learning about how to sacrifice his family- his grandmother pays a visit to a sleeping Angie’s room. While she’s there, she’s attacked. Someone (or something, dun.. dun.. dunnnn..) causes a pretty gross nosebleed, then kicks away her cane and knocks her on the floor just as Cameron is walking through the front door.
When Cameron finds his grandmother, he opts to make her his first sacrifice to save Angie instead of helping her off the floor. Using the symbol he learned- we watch his grandmother get enveloped from an eerie smoke that comes from underneath Angie’s bed before it eventually pulls her (and her cane) out of view. Laaaaame.
The next day, Cameron tries to get his sister on board with helping him select the remaining five sacrifices from their bloodline. She’s skeptical at first- but when Angie begins floating in her bed with some freaky alien eyes going on- she changes her mind pretty quickly and both she and her brother agree that their terrible uncle is gonna’ be the next to go.
Naturally- the uncle says something poignant and kind prior to drinking a beer Cameron laced with sleeping pills- but it doesn’t impress or impact Cameron or his sister. They attempt to do the sacrifice- but the uncle wakes up from his NyQuil Tablet coma before Cameron can make the symbol with his blood. From there, it’s a downward spiral. Cameron and his sister argue over her using drugs again. Megan comes over to tell Cameron she’s pregnant and wants to keep the baby. That weird nun shows up at the house the next day. The list goes on.
Turns out, the nun wrote the book that the Spanish woman provided to Cameron. Her daughter was taken by Lillith and she’s been trying to “hunt her down” ever since. She encourages Cameron to speed up his sacrificing process since he only has a couple of days left to get it done and save Angie. Nuns these days, you guys…
Shortly after their brief exchange- Cameron’s aunt and cousin come by to check on them per Cameron’s mother’s request. Just like everyone else in their terrible family- the aunt and cousin are rude and insufferable. Cameron seems to think so, too- and wastes no time in sacrificing them. Well, he sacrifices his aunt, anyway. The attempt to off his cousin doesn’t work- which has me thinking Cameron’s cousin might not really be part of their bloodline. Oops. I think someone has some explaining to do.
Furthermore, Cameron seems to enjoy doing it- which makes me like him a little more, really. He ties his obnoxious cousin up in the basement like a pro.
The nun keeps appearing and disappearing every now and then, foul-mouth and all- and all of this isn’t enough to keep Cameron from falling asleep soundly. After one of his power naps, Cameron wakes up to find his niece near him- only her mouth is somehow sealed shut.
Oh, and she cries blood now, apparently.
We’re up to day 5 by this point- and Cameron has only sacrificed two people. He needs four more to save his niece. He and his sister have the usual dinner table conversation while looking through family photo albums about who they should sacrifice next (who hasn’t had this conversation, really?) Their discussion is cut short, however- when their uncle overhears their cousin, still tied up in the basement- trying to break free and goes to investigate.
Cameron intervenes- taking out what I can only assume is years of frustration on his uncle as he starts kicking his ass- ultimately sacrificing him once he lures him up to Angie’s room. When his mother returns home later that night, both Cameron and his sister attempt to explain what’s happening to their family and what still needs to be done. Their mother is obviously skeptical- so Cameron decides to prove his point by sacrificing his mute grandfather (whom he’d seemed reluctant to kill up until now) with no hesitation so his mother can watch.
There’s some dark family secrets/history revealed right around this time for reasons I can’t explain. Apparently, Angie had a twin brother- who was born with multiple complications (from his mother’s drug use, it’s insinuated) and Cameron’s mother killed the baby to spare it a lifetime of suffering? That came out of left field. Anyway, she thinks what’s happening to Angie is karma for that and sobs out her confession to her stunned children over some sad piano music. We have less than 15 minutes left- couldn’t we have skipped this all together?
Anyway, to make up for being a bad mom and an even worse grandmother- Cameron’s mother sacrifices herself after the cousin escapes from the basement and the trio (with Angie in tow) return to the sister’s sketchy apartment to finish their ritual. Five down- one to go.
Cameron decides that the final sacrifice will be his own unborn child. He and his sister lure Megan to the apartment they’re holed up in and attempt to draw the symbol on her stomach as she struggles while being held down. It disappears- just like it did on their cousin- which means the baby isn’t part of their bloodline. MEGAN, GIRRRRRRL.
With no time left, and the police suddenly banging on the door looking for Cameron- he insists his sister help him draw the symbol on himself to be the final sacrifice to save his niece. It should be noted that he’s literally SCREAMING at his sister to tell the cops the murders and kidnapping were all his fault and that she doesn’t know where he is while the cops are right outside the door. No discretion at all. Just shouting the plan at the top of his lungs.
Lillith finally shows herself in all of her bad CGI glory and the climax of the movie is just this cheesy shot of her coming for Cameron- who eggs her on with the corniest “let’s go to Hell, bitch!” line- only to have both of them disappear in an alarming amount of flames and smoke just as the police burst in.
The movie ends with a shot of Angie and her mother leaving the family’s home one last time. There’s moving boxes and a “FOR SALE” sign out front- and they walk into the distance hand-in-hand. Then the nun is shown walking down the street one last time.
If it weren’t for the cursing in this movie, I swear I would have thought it was made for Lifetime or the equally cornball Oxygen Network. This movie was bad. Not even bad-with-some-scares. Just bad.
Can we please just call it a day with possessed/creepy child movies once and for all? Please?
Only another week of these atrocities left. Hang in there with me, everyone.