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Movie Review -'Eloise' Explained

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


Eloise 2016 Storyline

Haunted asylums. A full breakdown of the film is as follows:

  • 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.


A Haunted Horror Movie Review

The narrative at the beginning of the film talks about the real Eloïse Asylum in Michigan and dedicates the Eloïse movie to its patients. The real-life building is actually held in high regard as were the doctors of the asylum. In addition, this small detailed narrative about the history of the building is sometimes more interesting than the film itself.

Without further adieu, I thought Eloise was abysmal. IMDb has it sitting at 4.5/10 and Rotten Tomatoes has the horror and thriller movie rated at 2.1/5. Asylums have all the makings to underpin a good scary supernatural film. Somehow though, Eloise and others like Dark Asylum and The Purgation for example make it difficult to understand how filmmakers get it so wrong.

Eloise throws 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.)

Special effects are utilized in Eloise such as a hallway with a video screen flicking on and off that does build some tension. Like getting a glimpse into the past, deceased patients and doctors are shown walking the same hallway in the present.

The storyline is dodgy and not thought out well; coincidence plays a major role in bringing the characters together. The main characters find each other by happenstance, a plot device I don't think works well.

Decision making from the haphazard group after breaking into the asylum can only be described as ‘thick as two planks’ and nothing justifies their stupidity.

Cinematography is the featured highlight of Eloise but overall the film is a dud.

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

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

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

Quick Film Info

  • Title: Eloise.
  • Written By: Christopher Borelli.
  • Released: February 2017.
  • Genre: Thinks it is a horror - but it's not.
  • Eloise's cast members include 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.

Eloise Explanation With 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

More Spoilers - The Eloise 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.


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.


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

Questions & Answers

Question: One thing I really don't understand is the last scene, in which Pia was putting back photos into the box and the movie showed the actor yelling. The doctor had written "child born now dead." What was the meaning of the final scene of the movie Eloise?

Answer: Her brother has died along with others in the fire.

Question: What happened to Jacob Martin at the end of the movie 'Eloise'?

Answer: I’m certain he died as a result of being trapped in the hospital when they went back in time.

Question: Did the doctor rape Gene in the movie "Eloise"?

Answer: I think they had an affair as his patient but I’m not sure it’s implied that he raped her. He definitely took advantage of her though.

Question: The girl in the painting looks like pia, doesn't it?

Answer: Sure does! I'm sure it's supposed to be her.

Question: Is Pia the girl holding the box?

Answer: Yes

Question: In the movie 'Eloise', wasn’t the homeless guy one of the doctors? He was still there when time went backwards.

Answer: I’m not sure the homeless guy has any role. He’s just someone who’s been there the whole time. I tried to see if he looked like anyone but couldn’t see any similarities. You could be right though but why would a doctor be homeless and choose to live out the front?

© 2017 Movie Whisperer


Ij on September 07, 2020:

In regards to the question someone asked about the scene of born alive and now dead... That was the birth certificate of Jacob when he was born, so we see Dr. Greiss after locking Jacon up in the morgue a second time, filling the certificate and ticking that Jacob who was born alive is now dead.

Chris on July 13, 2019:

Why are the cars in the past 1950's era; this is a severe mistake and misses Jacob's birth by thirty years, the plot follows that Jacob was born in 1980.

Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on July 13, 2018:

Pia and Scott's mom is the nurse. Jacob's name was on there because he was the baby,

Cait on July 13, 2018:

okay no but who is the nurse at the beginning who admits Jacob into the hospital? because after he goes looking for Gen's records the lady at the administration desk writes his name on an admittance form and then later in the movie it says that he was already admitted in there??

Barb on July 06, 2018:

This is my second time seeing this movie I am more confused about it.

I for one didn't know an asylum had a maternity ward. And the past looks like mid 50's not 1980

Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on May 21, 2018:

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

jeff gilbert on May 21, 2018:

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

MavWolfe on May 13, 2018:

“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.

Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on May 10, 2018:

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!

CaraMichaels on May 10, 2018:

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....

jimbob on January 14, 2018:

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...