This is a supernatural thriller “Eli,” where Charlie Shotwell plays an 11-year-old suffering from a mysterious disorder which causes his flesh and innards to flare up painfully when he’s exposed to non-sterile environments. Eli’s desperate parents (Kelly Reilly and Max Martini) bring him to a risk-taking doctor to watch, Isabella Horn (Lili Taylor), who detains him online in a spooky “clean house” in the middle of nowhere.
As is often the case with these situations, the cure ends up being worse than the disease. Eli’s condition improves, but Dr. Horn’s treatments are excruciating, and her Gothic mansion seems to have literal ghosts lurking around every corner. The only good part of Eli’s day is when a neighbor girl, Haley (Sadie Sink), wanders by and talks to him through the institution’s big windows.
“Eli” was directed by Ciarán Foy, who made the similarly character-driven thriller “Citadel,” about an agoraphobe confronting his fears. This time, though, Foy’s working with a team-written screenplay that takes too long to get to the point. The movie kills too much time with atmospherics and insinuations before finally answering its two big questions: What’s wrong with Eli?; and, what’s the deal with this crazy house? Remember you can free download this movie from filmxy.
Foy’s cast is excellent, and he stages everything artfully, using foggy glass and deep shadows to trick the eye. “Eli” has a strong payoff too with a memorably intense final 15 minutes.