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Review: CUPID (2020)

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and romance, named after a saint who was beaten with clubs and then beheaded. Takes some of the charms away, doesn’t it? Now, what if I told you that cupid wasn’t a romantic? That, after being tricked into killing the woman he loved, soured on love in a homicidal way? Well that’s the idea behind Cupid, the new film from writer/director Scott Jeffrey (Mummy Reborn, Don’t Speak)

Cupid starts with not one but two prologues. The first is an animated recapping of what the film claims is the true story of Cupid. Then we get a look at what happens when somebody summons him.

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Then we get to the main plot. Faye (Georgina Jane, Pet Graveyard, The 12) has a crush on one of her teachers. The school’s mean girls led by Elise (Sarah T. Cohen, Scarecrow’s Revenge, The Mutation) decide to prank her, sending her texts spoofed to look like they came from him. The results are predictably bad and are captured on video.

Humiliated in front of the entire class, Faye vows revenge. Unfortunately for her tormentors, she’s a practising witch. You can guess who she chooses as the agent of that revenge.

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Apart from his writing and directing gigs, Jeffery also has 36 credits as a producer. Sadly, they’re on films like Mandy The Doll and House On Elm Lake. Between that and my exceptionally low opinion of Mummy Reborn, I wasn’t expecting much from Cupid. So imagine my surprise when it actually starts off quite well. The animated intro was well done and the CGI in the prologue, as well as some practical gore, worked well.

Unfortunately, Cupid bogs down in stupid high school drama from then until about the 45-minute mark when the killing starts again. And the death of Lina (Kelly Juvilee) is fairly well done. After that, though, it’s a very mixed bag.

Cupid is stuntman Bao Tieu in a very obvious rubber mask. And the CGI of him flying isn’t nearly as good as it was in the prologue. The practical effects aren’t too bad, but there are not enough of them. Indeed, Cupid suffers from too much talking and not enough stalking. And considering how obnoxious most of the film’s characters are, you want them dead fairly quickly.

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Unlike many of Jeffrey’s other films, though, Cupid isn’t unwatchable. It has its moments, including a fairly grim bit of business with an arm, a vice, and a hacksaw. It’s nothing great, and you may want to fast-forward through the beginning. But it is miles ahead of what I was expecting, and an acceptable supernatural slasher film. Hopefully, his upcoming films will continue to show improvement.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release Cupid on DVD and VOD on February 11th. You can check for more details on the production company’s Facebook page.

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