Welcome to the Blumhouse is back at Prime Video with a second-set of four horror films in an anthology series that debuted with a rather mixed bag of films in 2020. Blumhouse Productions have had their fingers in many a pie when it comes to recent horror films so to see them release another four films in the space of two weeks is no real surprise, Bingo Hell being one of the two coming in the first week.

In the Barrio of Oak Springs live a strong and stubborn group of elderly friends who refuse to be gentrified. Their leader, Lupita (Adriana Barraza), keeps them together as a community, a family. But little did they know, their beloved Bingo hall is about to be sold to a much more powerful force than money itself.

The first thing that struck me as Bingo Hell came to a close is just how mundane it all felt which, considering the premise, left me disappointed. The picture above would suggest the opposite but believe me this film doesn't live up to it by any means. It runs at just under ninety-minutes yet feels much longer no thanks to rather awful pacing, which might have been helped if they leaned into the comedy of the situation more. 

Yes, it's trying to tell a serious story about gentrification however, the main cast being made up of older actors trying to put a stop to a sinister force felt primed for a more humourous approach. Not slapstick mind, just a lot more scattered throughout to give this more of a horror comedy vibe. 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.

The performances from the cast are fun enough, this age group not your usual featured in a film like this. Adriana Barraza is steely and determined as Lupita, a woman who will do just about anything to protect the future of her community. Richard Brake is the one having all the fun as Mr Big, the suspicious new owner of the beloved Bingo hall, Brake chewing all the scenery he can whenever on screen.

With Bingo Hell, the second-set of Welcome to the Blumhouse films is not off the greatest starts in all honesty. With how good the standard of modern horror has been, this will be forgotten in about a week.

Verdict: ★★


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