Almost all of us treat esotericism as something frivolous. However, clairvoyance or extrasensory sessions do not always end harmlessly. Sometimes they end tragically. And by no means because of otherworldly forces – the forces hidden in ourselves are much more terrible and real.
What is the movie “The Reading” about?
The film tells about the life of Sky Brown, a young girl who conducts clairvoyant sessions. Falling into a trance, she allows others to communicate with deceased relatives through herself. This is called “reading”. Despite her nineteen years, she has many clients, admirers, supporters and opponents.
During the reading, there is a story about the life of someone who longs to communicate with the spirits of the dead. She guesses her favorite color, dish, unmistakably names the details of her personal life that her client could have. Then she starts talking about what the spirits are saying to her. Usually these are small wishes and orders. The main thing at the same time is to get out of the trance in time so that the spirit cannot touch you. Otherwise, he can take over you.
However, the film does not begin with this. A few years ago, tragedy strikes in the life of Emmy, a middle-aged woman. Unknown people break into her house, kill her children and husband. She herself, having received knife wounds, miraculously survives. After that, she talks on one of the TV shows about what happened to her and says that she would like to investigate it.
Skye, a psychic girl, has helper friends. They find her clients who pay her for sessions and also make videos about her. One day, they receive an offer from wealthy clients to investigate an incident at Emmy’s house. Sky rejects this offer, saying that she feels something and is very afraid. She informs her friend Gregor, who is basically her “manager”. Gregor is played by Courtney Glod, the film’s director and screenwriter.
However, Sky begins to have financial difficulties. She really wants to finish school and study further. Her mother really wants her to become a doctor. At the same time, Gregor is already negotiating with clients, with Ashley Lyden, a white girl, Emmy’s niece and relative of the deceased family, as well as with people willing to pay money for a film shot about “reading” in Emmy’s house, where the murder took place, and where she still lives. Under pressure, she agrees.
After that, the group, consisting of Sky, Gregor, a few others, goes to Emmy’s house. They set up the equipment and start filming. Ashley Linden is present at the “reading”. She initially doubts Skye’s abilities, makes remarks. In particular, when she names Emmy’s favorite dish, Ashley says that all black Americans love spices.
I must say that the film tells about the life of blacks – these are all the main actors of the film. Emmy is a woman whose husband was white, he and her children were killed.
Then something strange starts to happen. Skye goes into a trance. Emmy leaves the room for a while and then comes back again. Gregor and Sky’s friends say that they want to end the session and leave, that they don’t even want money anymore, but Emmy has closed the doors and insists that everything continue. We have to continue the session. Sky starts talking to Emmy in the voice of her dead son. She is moved.
Emmy then asks Sky a question: “Why did I close the doors, do you think?” And Sky replies: “Because YOU did it!” With that, Emmy pulls out a gun and shoots her niece, Ashley. She falls dead, and the group flees in fear.
It turns out that the glass in the house is made of durable material that cannot be knocked out by anything to leave the house. The whole group is trapped. A fat black aunt Emmy with a gun runs around the house, having already killed her own niece, and the rest are hiding from her. At the same time, it turns out that Emmy, who had previously had difficulty moving with a stick, turns out to be a very strong and nimble woman, quickly and freely running up the stairs and in appearance superior in strength to any of these guys. The gun in her hands proves to be a convincing argument.
She runs around the rooms and kills all the guys. Gradually, only Skye and her friend Jesse remain alive. Gregor, previously badly wounded, fell in battle with Emmy. However, Emmy ran out of ammo, and now she only had a knife in her hands. Skye and Jessie are trying to call for help when a postman walks past the house and puts the letters in a mailbox. But he does not pay attention to them, and at the same time, in the process, the girls betray their position by screaming.
Along the way, Emmy talks to Sky, apparently, a telepathic connection is being established between them. She talks about killing her family because she hated her husband and children. An interesting detail of their life together is revealed.
It turns out that Matt Lyden, who was her husband and worked as a dealer in precious stones, experienced a difficult financial situation just before the murder. They had to give up all the benefits that a happy rich life gave them, and moreover, move to a poor area – which for Emmy was the biggest shame. That is why she killed them in order to simultaneously get rid of her hated family and her husband’s debts. And then live happily alone in a big house in a wealthy area.
Skye and Jessie decide to give Emmy one last fight. She only has one knife in her hands, so they don’t think she’ll have much of an advantage. They wear long sleeves they find in the wardrobe and attack Emmy, who is waiting for them downstairs. In the fight, Emmy stabs Jessie and slightly injures Skye. At the same time, Sky suddenly has a gun in her hands. Emmy says she’s stupid and he’s not charged. However, in Skye’s arms, he fires a shot, and Emmy falls dead.
In the finale, when the credits roll, we are shown Sky on the same TV show where Emmy was before. She talks about how hard it was for her to survive the loss of friends and about what happened to her. Apparently, she still managed to get fame and two hundred thousand dollars due for a film about a session of extrasensory perception.
The meaning of the film “The Reading”
The film is an action-packed thriller and horror film at the same time. It intertwines with various themes of African magic and also talks about the life of black Americans. African magic does not really pursue any secret goals and explains all the rituals with quite mundane motives. For example, a sorcerer comes to his victim and kills him with a secret rite in order to get a drink. This also happens.
At the same time, there is the theme of the midlife crisis in women. Few in the movies have addressed this topic, unlike the midlife crisis in men, and Courtney Glaude has conveyed this issue very well. Over time, a woman begins to reconsider values, she leaves a young age full of hopes and expectations, and faces harsh reality. Many of her hopes turned out to be just mirages, and the man and family with whom she connected her life become, from her point of view, a burden, because of which she could not realize herself in a different way and lost her time.
It also brings up the theme of a strong woman that others are trying to use. Both Gregor in the case of Skye and Matt in the case of Emmy both used them to improve their lives. And both, as it turned out, deceived them. Gregor – when he told Sky that nothing would happen and he refused that contract, and then begins to stereotype “work out objections” when he tricks Sky into meeting with clients. And Matt – when he promised Emmy wealth and happiness in exchange for the fact that she will create a family with him and give birth to children for him, and not only does not fulfill the promise, but also wastes her life time.
The film has many interesting moments. For example, a pistol cartridge appears in the frame in the house, which Sky puts in her pocket for some reason, talking to her mother before going to the “reading”. In African magic, there is a belief that born albino children must be sacrificed – Emmy kills children who were not black in appearance, without pity, but she is very sorry about the murder of her son, who was born black. In cults, there is also a custom to use body parts of such children as amulets – Emmy cuts off her little finger in the course of killing her family.
The film turned out pretty good. It will be congenial to Russian viewers, especially women. Many of them faced the same problems as the characters in the film. Here, without any fear, the theme of childfree is raised, the theme of life for oneself, as well as healthy egoism, opposed to society and seemingly “close” people, looking for benefits in you and not giving anything in return. Skye’s mom talks about this at the very beginning of the movie.
It is worth noting the magnificent script and the magnificent acting of the actors. For some of them, it was their film debut. At the same time, Sharnel Brown, who played Sky’s mother, was the most experienced in their team and was filming for a long time. The camera work is at an average level, and special effects are almost absent in general – frames of shots, cuts do not look very realistic.
Explanation of the ending of the film “The Reading”
The film’s ending shows us that there is some connection between Emmy and Skye. Perhaps one handed over to another material goods, which she could no longer use due to her age. Or maybe it was the spirit that had previously touched Skye and because of which she was afraid to conduct a “reading”. In addition, thanks to an interesting script and director’s work, work is underway with the viewer’s subconscious. For example, the words that Sky’s mom says sound completely different if you know how the movie ends. But they have an even stronger impact on the first impression.