Spell (film)

Spell is a 2020 American supernatural horror thriller film directed by Mark Tonderai and starring Omari Hardwick and Loretta Devine. It was released in the United States through digital on October 30, 2020 by Paramount Pictures via Paramount Players.

Film poster
Directed byMark Tonderai
Written byKurt Wimmer
Produced byKurt Wimmer
Gordon Gray
Morris Chestnut
Brian Wilkins
StarringOmari Hardwick
Loretta Devine
John Beasley
CinematographyJacques Jouffret
Edited bySarah C. Reeves
Music byBen Onono
LINK Entertainment
MC8 Entertainment
Distributed byParamount Players (via Paramount Pictures)[1]
Release date
  • October 30, 2020 (2020-10-30)
CountryUnited States
Box office$500,104[2][3]


While flying to his father's funeral in rural Appalachia Kentucky, an intense storm causes Marquis to lose control of the plane carrying himself and his family. He soon awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise's attic. Eloise claims she can nurse him back to health with a hoodoo figure she's made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.



The film was shot in South Africa.[5]


The film was released on digital platforms on October 30, 2020.[1][4][6] It was originally scheduled to be released theatrically on August 28, 2020[7] before it was pulled from the schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later rescheduled to be released on home media on October 30, 2020.[8] It was distributed by Paramount Players via the studio's parent company Paramount Pictures.


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 50 critic reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Despite a promising beginning, this repetitive and predictable thriller lacks enough of an identity to cast much of a Spell."[9] Metacritic reports a score of 38 out of 100 based on six critic reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10]

Tomris Laffly of RogerEbert.com awarded the film one and a half stars.[11] Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting awarded the film one and a half skulls out of five.[12]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review and wrote, "this is a decently stylish thriller with occult elements that should satisfy viewers’ genre requirements, though few will demand a second watch (or sequel)."[5]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review and wrote, "Unfortunately, the filmmaker's stylistic efforts aren't enough to compensate for the predictable, cliché-ridden aspects of the screenplay..."[13]


  1. ^ a b c Prange, Stephanie (October 1, 2020). "Thriller 'Spell' Coming to PVOD and Digital Oct. 30". Media Play News. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  2. ^ "Spell (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "Spell (2020)". The Numbers. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Squires, John (October 1, 2020). "Paramount's Hoodoo Horror Movie 'Spell' is Coming Straight to VOD on Halloween Eve [Trailer]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Harvey, Dennis (October 28, 2020). "'Spell' Review: A Conventional Hexing Horror in the Hills of Kentucky". Variety. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  6. ^ Hegarty, Tasha (October 15, 2020). "Power's Omari Hardwick stars in creepy first trailer for new horror movie Spell". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 9, 2019). "'Power's' Omari Hardwick to Star in Thriller 'Spell' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 24, 2020). "'Mission: Impossible 7' Opening In Pre-Thanksgiving Period 2021; 'Tomorrow War' Eyes Next Summer: Paramount Release Date Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  9. ^ "Spell (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Spell (2020) Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Laffly, Tomris (October 30, 2020). "Spell". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Navarro, Meagan (October 28, 2020). "[Review] 'Spell' Fails to Conjure Up Compelling Hoodoo Tale". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  13. ^ Scheck, Frank (October 28, 2020). "'Spell': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2020.

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