Bingo Hell is a 2021 American horror film about a feisty senior citizen who fights to protect her beloved neighbourhood from an evil force.
Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero (Culture Shock) from a screenplay written co-written with Shane McKenzie (ABCs of Death 2.5 segment ‘M is for Matador’) and Perry Blackshear (When I Consume You; The Rusalka aka The Siren ; They Look Like People). Executive produced by Jason Blum, Lisa Bruce, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Raynor Shima and Lauren Downey.
The Blumhouse TV-Amazon Studios co-production stars Adriana Barraza, L. Scott Caldwell, Richard Brake and Joshua Caleb Johnson .
After sixty-something neighbourhood activist Lupita (Adriana Barraza) discovers that her beloved local bingo hall has been taken over by a mysterious businessman named Mr Big (Richard Brake), she rallies her elderly friends to fight back against the enigmatic entrepreneur.
However, when her longtime neighbours begin turning up dead under grisly circumstances, Lupita suddenly discovers that gentrification is the least of her problems. Something terrifying has made itself at home in the quiet barrio of Oak Springs, and with each new cry of “Bingo!” another victim falls prey to its diabolical presence.
As the cash prizes increase and the body count steadily rises, Lupita must face the frightening realization that this game is truly winner-takes-all.
“There is a foreboding atmosphere created by Gigi Saul Guerrero and there is some genuinely impressive practical effects on show, particularly towards the end, but it all just feels a little throwaway […] With Bingo Hell, the second-set of Welcome to the Blumhouse films is not off the greatest starts in all honesty […] this will be forgotten in about a week.” Barton Reviews
“Even with all the muck of greed and gore, Lupita’s journey of discovering what a community truly means is heartwarming, but her fighting spirit brings the laughs […] That Bingo Hell approaches its fiery heroine and her friends with such tenderness does undermine the splatstick horror elements in part, especially in the climax. Even still, Guerrero gives a familiar Faustian bargain premise a new goopy, gory, and often entertaining coat of paint.” Bloody Disgusting
“Bingo Hell brings out some smiles, some squirms, some sentimental sweetness, and some room temperature thrills. It’s basically what we’ve come to expect from the ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’ label, i.e. some good and some bad, with the good being a night’s worth of okay entertainment, and the bad being something not likely to stick with you after the weekend.” Culture Crypt
“Bingo Hell is a strictly one-note critique of the American deification of material success, in the horror-satire tradition of The Twilight Zone. It gets turgid in its final third but backed by director Gigi Saul Guerrero’s cartoonish punch, Barraza’s cantankerous grimace and hair-trigger rejoinders are a pure pleasure.” The Guardian
“While I enjoyed much of the message and overall symbolism of Bingo Hell, it would have done well by being just one hour long. Its runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes does not work in its favor. Still, there is plenty for horror fans to enjoy and a profound and important message in the story as well.” Heaven of Horror
“Bingo Hell aesthetically shares more in common with the campy, gore-splattered thrills of HBO’s Tales from the Crypt series – the volume of blood on screen is equalled only by the pools of viscous, green slime. And, much like that cult property, there’s enough warmth to Guerrero’s script, co-written with Shane McKenzie and Perry Blackshear, to paper over the odd rickety effect or wooden performance.” The Independent
” …a fun and, occasionally, silly horror flick, with slick pacing, characters you can’t help but root for, and some pretty extra death scenes. While it can be easy to get swept up in the pomp and flash featured in the film, at its core, Bingo Hell has plenty of heart.” Nightmarish Conjurings
” …it embraces a made-for-TV production style with no justification for doing so. The bright colour palette and bland but chirpy musical score, like one heard in many a lousy Christmas flick, should have blended with the absurd premise and goofy gore to make for a fun contrast – but they just don’t. Rather, the film comes across as another forgettable TV movie, and that surely wasn’t the intention here.” The Upcoming
“Bingo Hell is lively, albeit in ways that tend to wear thin fast: Funhouse compositions in lurid colors, a cash register ka-ching! as repetitive sonic punctuation, campy musical soundtrack choices, elders saying rude things, etc. It works hard stylistically to provide a good time. But that would have been a better bet had at least as much effort been put into a screenplay whose ideas, both comic and macabre, remain undernourished.” Variety
“Overall, Bingo Hell is an acceptable, but unexceptional film. There’s enough slime, blood and jump scares to make it worth a watch. From a technical standpoint it’s well done, but like many directors making the transition from shorts to features Guerrero has issues with the film’s pacing that drag it down and make the first half drag somewhat.” Voices from the Balcony
Bingo Hell will be available for streaming via Amazon Prime on October 1, 2021.
Cast and characters:
Richard Brake … Mr Big
L. Scott Caldwell … Dolores
Bertila Damas … Yolanda
Adriana Barraza … Lupita
Gigi Saul Guerrero … Hipster Girl
Clayton Landey … Morris
Joshua Caleb Johnson … Caleb
David Jensen … Mario
Grover Coulson … Clarence
Jonathan Medina … Eric
Kelly Murtagh … Raquel
Wendy Conrad … Neighbour
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
MOVIES and MANIA says:
Bingo Hell is well-filmed in vibrant, lurid colours as befits its subject matter (and stylistically provides yet another 80s throwback which people can’t seem to get enough of). It also gets slightly gloopy and splattery… eventually. The downside is that the simplistic one-note anti-gentrification message and its painfully predictable conclusion is simply not enough to sustain a feature-length plotline. It might have made a rather obvious anthology entry or a forgettable short. And despite a spirited performance by Adriana Barraza, her character Lupita’s rather clichéd ranty Latino delivery also soon becomes tiresome.
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