Mythological Slasher Cupid (2020) Will Break Your Heart for All the Wrong Reasons
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
First Wide Release: February 6, 2020 (Streaming/VOD Platforms)
Director: Scott Jeffrey
Writer: Scott Jeffrey
Runtime: 83 Minutes
Starring: Georgina Jane, Michael Owusu, Abi Casson Thompson
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Some teenagers play a cruel prank on an unassuming girl, Faye, at school. Heartbroken and seething with anger, the young girl accidentally summons the wrath of the demonic Cupid to take action against those who scorned her. As bodies begin piling up, Faye must work with those who hurt her to banish the evil she conjured and save the day. Director and producer, Scott Jeffrey directs this mythological horror film, his fourth completed film out of seven.
Cupid is a pitiful slasher movie with some interesting ideas that get mucked up by forces both in and out of its control.
Offering up an interesting take on Roman mythology, Cupid admittedly does try to conjure up something unique. The premise is neat, however, the execution is awful. It is riddled with logical inconsistencies and plot holes that take the viewer out of the film. The rules feel very arbitrary. The dialogue is also painfully cliched and overdramatic. I get that writing teenagers can be a challenge when a writer is no longer one, but this is extra bad. Overall, it lacks any buildup or payoff and leaves viewers with an anticlimactic ending.
The character work isn’t much better. Everyone is a cardboard cutout with exactly one, maybe two, if we’re being generous, traits that distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. The acting doesn’t improve upon the lack of depth as the cast is pretty flat and uninspiring. Sarah T. Cohen serves some real musical theater level villain vibes, which I’m unsure if I loved or hated. Her performance was the only that stood out, even if it wasn’t entirely that great. She at least went for it, which I do respect her for that at least.
Artistically, it didn’t look like Cupid could do a lot to distract from its paltry budget. The film is rather dark with some interesting lighting and color choices that cover the taste of the rest of the film a bit. Primarily set in an empty school, Cupid fails to capitalize on such a fun setting. With the potential for plenty of engaging or unique set pieces, Cupid opts for normalcy, which makes the film feel even blander than it already presents.
The technical specs fail quite similarly. The creature/villain effects are just sad. Like, if I saw Cupid in real life I wouldn’t run away in fear, I would probably shoot him a “don’t worry champ, it gets better” half-smile and continue going about my day. He is literally a man with pale face makeup wearing a toga. And sometimes, he floats, in a decisively unconvincing manner mind you. Even the creature’s deep voice effects are laughable, because they only let it happen offscreen, so no one has to see the actor deliver lines with the audio in the background.
I really hate to continue kicking a film when it is down but there’s just not much to love with this one. Outside of the interesting idea of a god with a demonic villain origin story, Cupid is simply an unenjoyable movie. For an 83-minute film, it is painfully slow which tells us that there are some pacing and writing issues that should have been fixed from the get-go. I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be campy or serious. It really didn’t have the budget to go for the serious route and its script doesn’t lean into the zany or quirky potential of the premise. Honestly, to make a good movie they would have needed to scrap the entire thing altogether and start from scratch, which just isn’t realistic.
I do not recommend that anyone see this film. It’s pretty miserable. It almost wades into so-bad-it’s-good territory, but its much more of an endurance test. It’s tacky, cheap, and rough in all the worst ways possible. There are better made, more fun, and scarier low budget horror films out there that make way more out of way less. Don’t stop your journey for finding the perfect horror film to fall in love with, because you aren’t likely to find your match here.
Overall Score? 3.5/10