‘Tarot’ is Surprisingly Fun and Definitely Spooky – Review

We checked out Tarot to see if it’s better than the trailers suggested, and surprisingly the answer is yes.

*warning: minor spoilers for Tarot

I need to start this review with total honesty: my expectations for Tarot going in were pretty low. In fact the only reason I went to see it is because tarot cards were heavily featured in the plot and I wanted to see what they were doing with it.

The plot follows a group of friends who decide to mess around with a mysterious deck of tarot cards after finding them at a house they’re renting for the weekend. It’s all fun and games until the predictions start coming true in the most gruesome way possible.

To my surprise, Tarot was actually fun to watch. To be fair, how the characters get into this mess is still predictably idiotic, but really a bit of stupidity from the characters is usually required for most horror films to work. Once the story is set in motion though, it plays very well. The writers put some thought into the “why” of how this story works and it shows in the final result. I’m sure real practitioners of tarot would roll their eyes at several aspects of this story, but I really think what the writers came up with worked for the sake of the overall story.

One thing Tarot does very well is with the jump scares, of which there are many. It becomes a bit predictable towards the end, but this doesn’t make them any less scary. The main enemy of this story, who will remain nameless for spoiler reasons, is very terrifying with how they’re presented. It would be interesting to see this character explored more deeply in another story. While the ending of the film seemed quite final, it wouldn’t be the first time a story has been reworked to let a monster reappear in another entry. I’m not sure if that will happen with Tarot, but I wouldn’t mind if it did.

Tarot also did a good job with its characters. A lot of times in films of this genre, most of the characters are barely fleshed out, with only the final girl and maybe the penultimate survivor getting the most development. That’s not the case here though. Enough time is spent with the characters before terrible things begin to happen that the audience develops a bond, albeit a slim one, with all of them. This makes their horrific fates all the harder to watch, especially toward the end of the film.

I will say that Tarot didn’t quite stick the landing. For a minor spoiler, there’s a last second twist that, while funny, also takes the audience right out of the dramatic moment that just finished. I commend the writers for sticking so closely to the story’s premise, but there was surely a better way to go about it.

All in all, while not the most original story, Tarot is good spooky fun. Check it out if you have a free afternoon, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

Tarot is Surprisingly Good
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
tarot-is-surprisingly-fun-and-definitely-spooky-reviewWhile the story isn't the best, and it stumbles a bit on the landing, Tarot ends up being pretty good, spooky fun. The jump scares are terrifying and the premise is actually pretty well thought out, even if it does take liberties with what tarot cards actually are. It's worth checking out if you have the time to spare.