Mercy Black – USA, 2019

Mercy Black is a 2019 American horror feature film written and directed by Owen Egerton (Blood Fest; Follow; writer of The Axe Murders of Villisca). The Divide/Conquer production stars Daniella Pineda, Janeane Garofalo, Elle LaMont and Austin Amelio.

The soundtrack score was composed by Kazimir Boyle (Follow).


Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure an imaginary phantom known as Mercy Black, Marina Hess (Daniella Pineda) is coming home. She’s being released from psychiatric care to live with her sister and young nephew.

However, in the years since her crime, the myth of Mercy Black has gone viral inspiring internet rumours, stories, and even copycat crimes.

Marina is haunted by what she has done and the phantom she imagined. Though she would rather leave the past buried, her nephew becomes increasingly obsessed with Mercy Black. To save him, Marina must face her past and uncover the truth behind Mercy Black. What she discovers is a very real and very deadly horror that will stop at nothing to claim her and her nephew…


Mercy Black is available on Netflix USA and via Amazon Video


“Virtually everything about it is unremarkable. I don’t use that word as an insult, but as the equivalent of a “no big deal” to express that there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the movie. Mercy Black doesn’t have any of the peppy personality of writer/director Owen Egerton’s previous feature Blood Fest.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“The movie’s big weakness is the script—the dialogue is clunky, on-the-nose and packed with exposition. There’s probably one too many twists at the end. But I won’t lie, I had fun with Mercy Black. And hey, you can’t argue with its timing.” Anna Menta, Decider

“Ambition serves Mercy Black as a stacked subgenre cake glued together with a delicious slathering of frosted dread. It may be narratively reminiscent, but from “Mercy Black’s” garden effigy gaze to Bryce’s signature oh-hell-no adolescent horror performance, Egerton somehow shakes the stigma of copycat reprinting.” Matt Donato, Flickering Myth

“It starts out a bit strange, feeling like a run-of-the-mill horror flick. However, it becomes a lot more interesting fairly quickly. There are quite a few jump scares early on, but the movie continues to develop on the story. So, don’t worry, there is more to this movie than just a lot of jump scares.” Karin Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

” …a disturbing premise, some decent performances and a few good shocks, trapped inside a generic presentation and an unremarkable plot. Mercy Black is a middle of the road horror film: almost good but never quite bad, almost scary but never quite terrifying, almost worth watching but not quite.” William Bibbiani, IGN

Mercy Black has a suitably spooky look, emphasizing all the dark corners where something malevolent may be lurking. It has uniformly strong performances too — especially from the engaging and sympathetic Pineda […] The movie is nerve-wracking throughout, but especially terrifying in the final 20 minutes…” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

Mercy Black is a newly created urban legend which is what many horror stories are built upon. We can praise the attempts to try and create something new because an original idea is what we call for, but the problem with this idea is that it gets stuck in the middle of two options, never letting either pay off to an effective level.” Darren Lucas, Ready Steady Cut!

“The drama is sporadically curious, but you’ve seen the spooky stuff within Mercy Black more than a few times before: a creaky old home that conveniently doesn’t have a lot of lighting at night, jump scares that are telegraphed by obvious edits and music cues, a haunted-looking young boy. Even the design of Mercy herself leaves you hoping for a little more menace.” Nick Allen,

“The characters are all very familiar and it’s easy to guess their next move and the motivation for that move. There’s also none of the humor Egerton used in Blood Fest, even though Mercy Black could certainly have used it. Spoofing some of the overly familiar material here would have been quite an improvement […] If you have Netflix then Mercy Black might be worth a watch. It’s not actively bad, but like American Poltergeist: The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, and so many other recent films, it’s just way too familiar.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Technical credits:

88 minutes

Image credits: Bloody Disgusting


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