“Misery,” apparently, loves company.
Why else would there be another film in which a seemingly kind woman holds a man hostage and tortures him?
That’s the premise behind “Spell,” an effects-laden film about a lawyer who crashes his plane in rural Appalachia where locals practice black magic.
Something has happened to his foot and sweet old Eloise (Loretta Devine) is more than willing to help.
Quickly, Marquis T. Woods (Omari Hardwick) learns she’s all about magic powders, rattling bones and potent dolls that can make a grown man weep.
Adding to the pressure: Woods’ wife and children are missing. The four were on their way to a funeral when a storm rocked their private plane. When he regained consciousness, Woods was suddenly in the care of the motherly doll maker.
While there’s a nice story about Woods’ children and their laissez-faire attitude toward their privilege, it’s quickly abandoned once dad gets sequestered in Eloise’s house. The focus, then, is on him trying to get out and get help.
He eavesdrops (literally, from the home’s eaves) on a meeting of Eloise’s followers. He sees what she’s up to and has to figure out a way to get out without raising suspicion. A huge spike in his foot doesn’t help. But there are heroic moments that will make you cringe and a few close encounters of the hostage kind that could make you jump.