Bingo Hell Parent Guide
This oddball horror flick might just be a bit too odd for most horror fans.
Parent Movie Review
Lupita (Adriana Barraza) loves her little neighborhood, a quaint part of town called Oak Springs. She loves it so much that she’s been pressuring all her friends to try and hold on to their homes, even as the neighborhood is bought out from under them by greedy developers who see an opportunity for gentrification. She’s even taken up a collection to help Yolanda (Bertila Damas), the local hairdresser, make rent on her shop. Despite Lupita’s unceasing dedication to keeping Oak Springs just how she thinks it ought to be, the community is on its last legs. And those legs are about to get swept out from under them when the unsettling Mr. Big (Richard Brake) appears and opens a new bingo hall, with promises of fabulous prizes…but nothing comes for free, and the residents of Oak Springs are about to learn that the hard way.
This is a deeply weird little horror flick. It has the slightly low-budget feeling of a creepy short story, or maybe a really bizarre student film – and that actually kind of works for it. Somehow, the garishly colored bargain-basement vibes really sell the discomfiting nature of the story. Easily the best points in the film’s favor are Adriana Barraza, who brings a lot of energy to her relentlessly stubborn character, and Richard Brake. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Richard Brake had wandered fully formed from a Stephen King fever dream. He has this incredible ability to smile in a way that makes your skin shrivel. It’s remarkable.
On the other hand, this movie is, as I said before, weird. The plot has more to do with the community and the characters’ friendships than it does with anything supernatural, and then takes a hard tonal shift to feed a character’s hands into a fan. The two aspects never quite mesh, and it feels a little bit odd every time the sweet little community plotline shows up. Viewers also have to contend with a fair amount of profanity, although if you’re still interested in the film after reading this far, I doubt that’s going to deter you.
I do have a definite soft spot for oddball low-budget horror. You’re taking advice from a guy who loves Willy’s Wonderland, which sees Nic Cage in a completely silent role fighting animatronics at an evil Chuck-E-Cheese stand-in. But Bingo Hell is, somehow, just a little too oddball for my tastes. I think the issue is that it just can’t commit to the weird in the same way that, say, Willy’s Wonderland does. I mean, who wants to talk about all the wonderful found-family tropes in the community even when you haven’t just watched someone tear their own skin off?Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero. Starring L. Scott Caldwell, Adriana Barraza, and Joshua Caleb Johnson. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release October 1, 2021. Updated October 1, 2021
Watch the trailer for Bingo Hell
Rating & Content Info
Why is Bingo Hell rated Not Rated? Bingo Hell is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A character chokes to death. A person tears off their own skin. One character drinks motor oil and shreds their hand in a mechanical fan. An individual overdoses on unidentifiable drugs and dies. One character stomps another’s head. A person is shot and severely beaten.
Sexual Content: A woman is seen nude from the shoulders up in a non-sexual context.
Profanity: There are 25 sexual expletives and 26 scatological terms, as well as frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking and smoking tobacco. There are references to drug addiction and one scene of an individual injecting unidentified drugs.
Page last updated October 1, 2021