Temple is a horror and adventure film released in 2017, directed by Michael Barrett. Three American friends travel to Japan to have fun and study temples but encounter more than that.
Hello, there! I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews, with Movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today we’ll talk about 2017’s Temple, beginning with a plot summary, through the review, and concluding with a symbolic rating.
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Kate (played by Natalia Warner) is working on a project about ancient Japanese temples. So she decided to take her boyfriend, James (played by Brandon Sklenar), and the old friend, Chris (played by Logan Huffman) see the temples in loco.
In Loco, not “loco” like this:
They have some fun, some veiled tension between the two males, and find in an antique store a mysterious book about a temple. After acquiring the book, they go after the temple, even though the locals advise against it.
Well, let’s be clear from the beginning: Temple is a really bad movie, but not as a whole. The first two acts are quite promising. It’s slow-paced, and not much happens, but at least you can expect something thrilling or amusing in the last act. Then, the disappointment.
The story is told through an interrogation in a Hospital. A Japanese detective and an interpreter questions a disfigured American patient. This gimmick is absolutely pointless on so many levels, like the Tupac interview on All Eyez on Me.
I can’t be specific about the little details in which this interrogation is pointless and stupid to not spoil anything. It doesn’t add anything of value to the plot and has some things that don’t make any sense. All in all, it makes the movie worse.
Another thing that doesn’t make any sense is the sex scene. Kate and James have sex in the single night the three members were in the same room. Why? Couldn’t they wait just one night?
Back to the actual story of what happened with the three characters in Japan. The first two acts set-up the mystery and dynamic between characters, with some eventual fun and exploring.
The last one is where everything should be wrapped up, and the things that were set up in the course of the adventure should have their payoffs. However, that’s not what happens. The last act is just a plain mess that leaves a bunch of unanswered questions.
I’m not crazy about the acting as well, but it’s not bad either. It’s just uninteresting, there’s nothing to be excited about. Almost the same can be said about all the characters.
I liked Chris as a character, though. He was the most proactive member of the group and a nice guy. He’s even nice to James, who’s mostly a douche-bag. However, his back story is just hinted at. We just know that his brother died in an accident, it’s never mentioned again and it didn’t seem to affect anything in his behavior or mood during the trip.
The characters seem incomplete. For example, we barely know anything about Kate’s thesis about temples or her relationship with James. The rare times in which they talk about the relationship seems like an excuse to separate the group during the climax.
On the positive side, we had very decent cinematography. For the most part, I liked the well-lit lighting. There were only a few moments with the annoying darkness that some horror movies often have. The colors are also really nice.
The visual of the movie is really compelling, to be honest. The locations in Japan where the film was shot were always amusing, from the most populated and urban settings to the more rural villages. The temple is very simplistic but well-fitting, and the statue on the front is a plus.
Like the plot itself, the score begins promising but disappoints as the movie passes by. When the film starts to have its tense moments, the music becomes very generic and passable.
Like I said in the beginning, Temple is a bad movie, there’s no other way around it. However, it’s not the worst film we talked about here. There some things to cling to in the first couple of acts, but everything falls apart in the end. I’ll give Temple 3 Moons.
That’s it for now.
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