Breihan Dryden, A&E Writer
Thousands of years ago into the future, the year was 2014 and two pre-teens thought it was a cool idea to lure their friend into the woods and stab her to appease a fictional creepypasta known as “Slenderman” (or as I like to call him, SlenDaddy Long Arms). Why do I bring this up? Well, my dear reader, this is basically the plot of the 2019 horror film Mercy Black. Obviously, this might come across as being in poor taste to some people. I find it a bit odd that this movie could be considered far more offensive to the OG victim’s family, yet the actual Slenderman movie (that shares surprisingly little to do with actual crime) was subject to a crap ton of controversy when it was finally crapped out by Sony, but I digress. My point? “Is this in poor taste” isn’t something I generally consider when reviewing a film. No, “Mercy Black” isn’t a bad movie because of what it’s based on, it’s bad because it just kind of sucks.
Seriously, I was actually interested in this movie when it popped up on Netflix outta nowhere a couple of weeks ago. It looked like the Slenderman movie that I always wanted. Sure it wasn’t *actually Slenderman, but the title character of the film, the aforementioned Mercy Black, looked cool and it didn’t look like your average “is the monster real or is the crazy person jUsT cRaZy?” horror movie. It’s kind of disappointing to watch it and find out that, yeah, it’s just a bland, milk toast, and cliché-ridden direct to video (VOD, actually) horror movie, complete with creepy kids, lame jump scares, exposition dumps, and every adult acting like an actual, literal baby. Now excuse me while I re-use the same review format from my Us review, because I’m tired and I wanna go to bed.
“So what did you like?” Well, something I thoroughly dig is the look and use of color in this movie. Reds and blues permeate throughout and the whole film has a really solid look. Lots of cool shots are scattered about the film and there was only one CGI shot that I could see. Yes, that means that “Mercy Black” is chock full of some pretty decent practical effects. Mercy herself is a real, physical presence in the film….kind of. More on that in a second. Some other things that are decent: the editing….uh, the soundtrack? Maybe? It’s a pretty decent soundtrack.
“Sooooo what didn’t you like?” Pretty much everything else. The acting is dodgy, the story makes no sense, the film doesn’t follow its own rules, and what is perhaps the most egregious problem this movie has, it’s just sooooooooooooooo boorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring. Forreals though, homie. The pacing of this film constantly chugs back and forth between breezing through what seem to be important moments, just to spend fifteen minutes with people we don’t care about, doing things we don’t care about, in places that don’t matter. Plot convenience? This movie has loads of that, too. Since when does the creepy son of the sister of the crazy lady have a fat best friend? From the earlier scenes of him at school, it implies that if he isn’t bullied, he at least stays away from other kids. So why is he hanging out with someone now? Oh yeahhhhh, it’s because we need fatty to be in this (admittedly cool torture scene). Also, don’t get mad because I’m calling him fatty; a good number of people in this movie (including lard lad and Dwight from The Walking Dead) are straight up Dicks, like my good friend Richard.
Is Mercy Black a good movie? Oh god no. Didn’t you read the last paragraph? No, Mercy Black is a couple of steps above bottom of the barrel Netflix trash like American Poltergeist II, 13/14 Cameras, The Hatred, or Cam. At least it has those few steps, though. Besides, it’s still leagues better than the actual Slenderman movie. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to turn Slenderman into a f——- tree??!
Mercy Black gets 4 Golden Taylors out of 10