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Tarot follows suit with cliché horror films

Tarot was released in theaters on May 3 and is available for viewing at local theaters.
Tarot was released in theaters on May 3 and is available for viewing at local theaters.

Review: Tarot was created to be a thrilling adventure for viewers, promising to showcase the mystery of tarot cards with a haunting allure. Instead, the movie left the entire theater flooded with laughter. 

Rated PG–13, Tarot received this classification due to “violence…with blood, slayings, monster attacks and jump–scares,” according to Despite the rating, it hardly made the audience spill their popcorn. Most of the jumpscares were filmed using the same repetitive technique: the camera pans to one end of the room, glides through the actor’s gaze, pans to another end and viewers are hit with a ringing of sound coupled with the presence of a creepy character. This filming strategy may gain a reaction from audiences the first couple of times, but Tarot employs this technique endlessly throughout the movie, making its jumpscares very predictable. 

Jumpscares galore was not the only cliché aspect seen in Tarot; there was also an excessive amount of gore. Almost every death or scare within the plot included some display of blood. Although gore is a staple for many movies existing in the horror genre, the abundance of blood felt unoriginal and cheap – its only function being to overcompensate for the lack of fearfulness in the plot. 

Plot and character development is another aspect the movie falters on. Like the cliché beginning of any horror movie, the plot begins with a group of restless and rebellious teenagers around a fire with no adult supervision. Of course, they happen to stumble upon an old, almost decrepit tarot deck with scary images painted on each card. Audiences are silently screaming, not from the vile nature of images, but rather out of frustration from the characters’ mind–boggling stupidity in deciding to use the deck. The movie embodies everything overdone in the horror genre, and viewers are able to predict exactly what will happen next. The characters continue through this typical horror plot line involving various monsters, a brief integration of a sob story to try to humanize the protagonist, a very fast–paced tempo and many glaring plot holes. 

The dialogue is also painfully bland. The entire script seems to be filled with cliché conversations between characters, with phrases similar to “I don’t feel good about this,” or “we must break the curse!” Watchers will know exactly what characters are going to say moments before they speak it aloud. 

The end of Tarot finally broke the cycle of predictability, but it also left audiences very confused. As the film comes to a close, it becomes almost comedic, similar to a campy, satirical horror film poking fun at the genre. This switch seemed very indecisive and not intentional, leaving the audience very unfulfilled with the conclusion.  

If you desire a mind–numbing horror film or need an easy introduction into poorly planned jumpscares, you may want to give Tarot a try!

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About the Contributor
Summer Nichols
Summer Nichols, Co-Web-Editor-In Chief, Arts and Entertainment Section Editor
she/her Hi! I’m Summer Nichols, and I am a web-editor-in-chief and A & E section editor for The Arrow. I originally joined the staff because I wanted to copy Lanza Peretti (staff writer), but I soon discovered how much I appreciated being able to use our collective creativity to advocate for important issues at WHS. Outside of journalism, I am a member of SDAC, and I tutor elementary and middle school students twice a week. However, on weekends you can always find me glued to the couch with a good book or watching The Crown and Stranger Things (I tried my best to replicate the iconic Eleven expression, but I will never live up to the 2022-23 co-editor-in-chief Vivian Stein’s impressions). 
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