Let’s face it, horror is typically a young person’s game, whether being tortured or watching the carnage. That’s what makes horror films that focus on the, let’s say not so young, stand out. Whether it’s the silly fun of Cockneys vs Zombies or the more intense tales like Hereditary. Horror queen Gigi Saul Guerrero’s Bingo Hell falls more in the CvZ camp, without quite stepping into the slapstick.
But it does step up into the challenges of gentrification and economic disparity. Adriana Barraza (Cake) gives us a neighborhood grandmother with a solid stick to keep everyone in line. She and her fellow residents are in the throws of trying to survive the arrival of a devil-like presence, not to mention hipsters, at the center of their weekly communion. Along with L. Scott Caldwell and a few other friends, they go up against the unexpected arrival of Richard Brake. Creepy mayhem ensues and the friends and community are brought to the brink for the final showdown.
To be honest, the logic of the movie is spare at best. And the leaps in story are rushed, but it is all tongue-in-cheek (or sometimes tongue-pulled-from-mouth). But the overall effect is one of entertaining and black comedy, with just a touch of social messaging. The laughs are many but very much from the watcher’s side, no one plays it for laughs on screen.