Movie Review-'Eloise' Explained

Updated on May 4, 2018
NessMovieReviews profile image

My passion is for films that scare the pants off you and I am always searching for movies that can do just that.

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What's it About?

Haunted asylums. This is the premise for a few movies I have seen.

Eloïse is full of plot holes, generic typecast and incorrect legal stances to join the story together, however, the basics go like this;

  • A boy has a girlfriend and a crappy life working in a mechanic shop.
  • The boy finds out his estranged father committed suicide.
  • He then discovers he has a large inheritance pending proof of death of his 'aunt' who was never declared deceased while in an insane asylum that burnt down. If he can't produce proof of death, he has to wait 7 years for his inheritance.
  • Runs into a random old friend while going through his father's estate. His friend has money troubles, so he says he can help him and he'll get $20k.
  • Together they track down a guy who is a fanatic of the asylum and discover that there was an evil doctor that worked there.
  • The fanatic has a sister who they met in a pub the night before, she wants to come too so they all break into the loony-bin to find the evidence.

Eloise - Trailer

My Thoughts On The Film

Without further adieu, I thought it was abysmal. IMDb has it sitting at 4.5/10 and Rotten Tomatoes has it at 2.1/5. Other movies with this premise don't fare very well either and asylums have all the makings of a good supernatural film. I am unsure how filmmakers get it so wrong. I am not a stickler for judging how good a movie is according to its score on sites like IMDb, many times I disagree however they can't all be wrong either. In this case I am scoring lower than the average person as well.

I am actually a fan of Grave Encounters (another low rated movie) and even though that film has issues, at least its characters are likable and the plot actually takes you on a journey. This movie plunks you square in the middle of nothingness and then expects you to fill in the blanks. There were no scares so to speak, (unless you like hands reaching out-of-doors and people randomly standing around in hallways with flickering lights.)

There were a few effects that I liked, such as a hallway with a video screen flicking on and off. While on, it shows deceased patients and doctors walking the same hallway. Like a screen showing the past.

I had questions when I finished watching. I searched high and low for explanations and summaries on this movie only to find people were so despondent at its failings that no one could be bothered. There were many critics asking to have it explained.

The story line is dodgy, coincidence plays a major role bringing the characters together. The main characters found each other by happenstance. It was almost as though the town had roughly twelve people living in it. Even when I visit places I have lived, it's rare that I bump into people I know. Was there only one bar in this town?

Decision making from the haphazard group after breaking into the asylum, can only be described a ‘thick as two planks’ and nothing justifies their stupidity. I am unsure why writers need to turn their characters into idiots to make a film. Sometimes I can work around it, like in the movie Life (2017), there were some instances where I could explain it away and I do so in my review of it.

The narrative at the beginning of the film talking about the real Eloïse Asylum in Michigan, dedicates Eloïse to its patients. This loosely held together with some spit (not even sticky tape) movie, has garnered the ire of many a critic and from people who knew of the services provided when it was open. The building itself is actually held in high regard as were the doctors of the asylum. Perhaps, had the movie been good, audiences would have been more forgiving, but in this case, they were not.

The ending of this movie particularly irritated people as it did me. I wanted to know what-the-heck happened so I put in some hours to uncover as much as I could and explain the ending.

I give 'Eloise', 1 rigged up ghost sensing mobile phone out of 5.

Did you like Eloise?

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I really wanted to explain this 'random homeless man' who appears outside and inside the hospital but he is simply a random homeless man. #Eloise #Movies #ElizaDushku #ChaceCrawford #RobertPatrick
I really wanted to explain this 'random homeless man' who appears outside and inside the hospital but he is simply a random homeless man. #Eloise #Movies #ElizaDushku #ChaceCrawford #RobertPatrick | Source

Who Wrote it?

Christopher Borelli has written nothing that has received more than 5/10 as a rating including 'Eloise.'

His highest rated movie,'Whisper' (2007) is described as "nothing special."

He has an upcoming movie called 'Wake' (2017) which is an action/thriller. One can only hope that it is better than anything else he has written or maybe he should just hang up his boots and go back to visual effects because 'Armageddon' (1998) was pretty good.

I may just add that I have no idea how the same people who produced 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose,' produced this unless they did it while drinking.

Scott's fear is of being lobotomized. How does one get tested for that phobia? #Lobotomy #Eloise #RobertPatrick
Scott's fear is of being lobotomized. How does one get tested for that phobia? #Lobotomy #Eloise #RobertPatrick | Source

Quick Film Info

  • Title: Eloise.
  • Written By: Christopher Borelli.
  • Released: February 2017.
  • Genre: Thinks it is a horror - but it's not.
  • Stars: Eliza Dushku, Chace Crawford and Robert Patrick.
  • Worldwide Box Office: just over $300,000.
  • Rotten Tomatoes: gave it 2.2/5 and IMDb: gave it 4.5/10.

Why is Dell a typecast character?

- He owns a ski-mask.

- He says he is a thief and now owes money to 'bad people.'

- He pickpockets his friends watch when he comes looking for Jacob in his father's house.

- He drowns (typecast black people can't swim.)

- He has a gun

- He shoots the gun readily.

- Scott tells him he is typecast.

Explain It To Me Please - This Part Contains Many Many Spoilers

After I finished watching this movie I immediately started to research everything. Most of it didn't make sense and the ending sure as heck made even less sense. This is what I discovered though. Each section explains theories resulting from questions I had after the movie.

The Beginning

The beginning of the movie is the writers being clever and placing the ending at the beginning. Then they place the end again at the end to complete the circle the film creates. Pia is an inpatient. The camera pans to a door with a small paneled window like ones typical of asylums.

The visiting police officer shows her photos, which are in a box for some reason (that's how the police present photos in this movie.) There are photos of each person including herself (her brother, Jacob, Scott, Dell and Jacob's father/uncle). They are sketches, like police sketches mixed with a few real photos.

The police officer tells Pia the fate of her brother, Dell and the fact the fire has destroyed the building. He also tells her that no-one can find Jacob. I read theories saying this is because he is a prisoner of Dr. Greiss. I disagree and think Jacob is dead but has not been found. I came to this conclusion because he the Dr. put him inside one of the morgue drawers. Dr. Greiss hadn’t finished curing him of his fear. The building burns down.

Pia puts all the photos back inside the box because she doesn't need to solve the mystery. She doesn't need an explanation. She knows they are dead and she knows how they died (except for maybe Dell, but who really cared about what happened to him?)

The Asylum

I wrote a piece on Grave Encounters (2011). The building in that movie can manipulate the structure so the occupants can't find a way out. In 'Eloïse,' the building is able to tweak time, forcing occupants backward and forwards to show them the past. Sometimes, when it suits, the building expels them back into present time. The asylum jolts into action when Scott takes tins of patients' ashes from a room and knocks one to the ground and spills it. These ashes belong to Eloïse. The ashes turn the buildings powers on and release the spirits within it.

The building begins by recapturing Jacob who is the son of the Dr. stolen from him. It eventually succeeds in killing all but one person who had entered the asylum. I assumed that the doctor replaying the past controls a little of what happens within its walls.

Pia leaves alive and this is an odd plot-line, especially given that her mother is responsible for stealing Jacob from the hospital in the first place. However, having Pia end up in a mental hospital in the clip at the beginning then again at the end is, in my opinion, her real fears and punishment come true (because her real fear is getting institutionalized, she just didn't remember the asylum until after breaking into it.)

What Happened to Dell?

When I saw the scene where Dell pours LSD over an open wound while stealing the drugs from the drug cabinet, I thought perhaps the building tricked him into thinking it was antiseptic or something. In fact, I wish that was the case. It looked more like he just did it dumbly, like;

"Oh Gee, I am stealing 30-year-old medicine, but this looks like it might help my cut and I'm bleeding, no time to read the label...this will do the trick."

In the realms of stupid decision-making, this tops my list.

Dell is typecast in the worst possible way as a token black house robbing, drug stealing gangster. He was in the middle of robbing the house when Jacob first sees him.

Dr. Greiss' mission is to get his patients to overcome their fears by being immersed in them.

Dell's fear is drowning, so once he runs madly through the building tripping off his head from the LSD and shooting at everything because he is carrying a gun, the building locks him into a room and fills it with water.

Honestly, I would have prefered it if they made Pia the gangster pickpocket. Not only is that a more possible addition to the story given her background she would’ve made a really good gangster pickpocket.

Jacob phobia is enclosed spaces. Here he is inside a morgue drawer. Why is he gagged? Why? So he doesn't wake the dead of course *boom-tish* #Eloise #ChaceCrawford #ElizaDushku
Jacob phobia is enclosed spaces. Here he is inside a morgue drawer. Why is he gagged? Why? So he doesn't wake the dead of course *boom-tish* #Eloise #ChaceCrawford #ElizaDushku | Source

I Still Have More Questions! More Spoilers - The Spoilery Spoilers.

Aunt Gen

Genevieve is Jacob's father's sister. Jacobs father is really his uncle and his aunt is really his mother. Phew! Gen's baby belongs to Dr. Greiss and Jacob is their son.

Pia

Why doesn't Pia remember anything? She kind of does but has blocked it out. Scott says to Pia when they enter the building

"Do you remember mom used to bring you to work sometimes?"

She says no, but the building decides to remind her in various ways by showing her herself as a girl carrying a box. Obviously, in her home growing up, they didn't have any pictures because she doesn't recognize the girl carrying the box.

Scott

It isn't obvious to everyone that when Scott finds the room with the photos, he sees himself. Scott was given a lobotomy when he was younger and this is why his character is 'special needs' throughout the film. How this ties into facing your fear though would be anyone's guess. I can understand needles, enclosed spaces, and drowning, but who isn't afraid of lobotomies?

Knowing that Scott was given a lobotomy within the hospital leads me to think that good old mom used to bring him to work sometimes too.

Pia and Scott's Mom - The Nurse

Given that at some point, she had both her kids at work from time to time, getting Pia to steal Dr. Greiss’ son for Jacob's Mom Gen, gives way to rationalizing why her mother would take such a risk for no clear reason. I think she knew the evil Dr. did something to Scott and she couldn't prove it. Maybe Scott's changed behavior got waved away as an illness. In any respect I would think she would do more than steal his kid if one day her son was acting normally and then he suddenly reverted back into an infant like state and she knew it was something Griess did. In fact, I would like to think that it was her that started the fire.

Scott, Dell and Jacob in happier times before things that are supposed to scary kill them all. #Eloise #EloiseExplained #Movies
Scott, Dell and Jacob in happier times before things that are supposed to scary kill them all. #Eloise #EloiseExplained #Movies | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews

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      • NessMovieReviews profile image
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        Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 4 weeks ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

        Wow @geoff that’s a bit crazy. I’ll have to take a look at those pics too! Thanks for commenting

      • profile image

        jeff gilbert 4 weeks ago

        Your movie "Eloise" Freaked me out! Because I grew up in "Wayne Mi" And Eloise is a real place, We as kids would go there to get scared by looking at the patients outside on the grounds in wheel chairs, benches and walking around. It was like the night of the living dead.The fence that surrounded Eloise was about 20 ft high rod iron with spikes on the top a real scary place! It was OLD built before the war WWI I think, maybe WWII but it was and still is a spooky place. I never went inside (i was a kid) and never wanted to. You can see old pic's at www.norwayne.com

      • profile image

        MavWolfe 5 weeks ago

        “I came to this conclusion because he the Dr. put him inside one of the morgue drawers. Dr. Greiss hadn’t finished curing him of his fear. The building burns down.”

        Did you not watch the whole movie? He gets let out of the morgue drawer before seeing his aunt/mother die and finding out the doctor is his father.

        It would make more sense that he’s stuck in that timeline. As much sense as anything in this horrible movie can.

      • NessMovieReviews profile image
        Author

        Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 5 weeks ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

        Thanks Cara! I could’ve hazarded a guess, and it certainly makes sense but with the other answers I was pretty certain. If I could see a recognisable feature of his in another character; for eg a member of his staff, or a patient, I would’ve listed it.

        I do like your thinking though!

      • profile image

        CaraMichaels 5 weeks ago

        Great explanation, one thing. The homeless man? I bet you he's a lobotomy survivor. Usually they're mute squint when they have a transorbital lobotomy....

      • profile image

        jimbob 5 months ago

        the homeless man is placed inside the hospital because he was one of the orderlies or assistants helping Dr Greiss, as seen by him then transporting back in time and grabbing Jacob. i thought it was pretty obvious...

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