The Reading – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

After a deadly home invasion, Emma copes by writing a book, but when a young psychic and her team perform a reading in her home, a new terror is unleashed. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A (Critics) / N/A (Audience)
Letterboxd Rating: 2.7 based on 434 ratings
Directed By: Courtney Glaude
Written By: Courtney Glaude
Starring: Mo’Nique, Chasity Sereal, Ian Haywood, Denisha Hardeman
Studio: BET+

Mo'Nique in The Reading animated gif

The Good:
There is a twist in this movie that I did not see coming and genuinely shocked me. The twist is that good. And it is as a result of that twist that Mo’Nique gets to deliver one of the most enjoyable horror movie performances I have seen in ages.

Mo'Nique in The Reading

Mo’Nique had been pretty impressive in the early parts of the film giving a very understated yet still physical performance but once the twist happens she cuts loose and goes into full bombastic overdrive providing a duality of tone in her performance that anchors the film in a much needed way. She was just terrific and insanely entertaining in this movie. There is a chase scene in this movie that had me immediately thinking of the chase scenes from Scooby Doo and I cackled for a while after seeing it. I had to pause the movie to get my uncontrollable giggles out of the way.

There is also a nice little Easter Egg in this movie that calls back to one of the most famous movie psychics ever that I really enjoyed.

Mo'Nique in The Reading

The Bad:
While Mo’Nique was a force her co-stars were weak in comparison. I mean incredibly weak. No one in the cast was able to rise up to even meet Mo’Nique’s levels of performance even halfway so it exposed their less than stellar acting chops in glaring ways every time they had to share a scene with her.

Scene from The Reading (2023)

There were points where the small budget showed onscreen which was a bummer because I can usually overlook stuff in lower budget films but when a character shoots a gun at close range through a door multiple times there should be some evidence that bullets actually went through said door.

Scene from The Reading (2023)

Final Verdict: An okay supernatural thriller that is elevated by a performance from Mo’Nique that was much more than this film probably deserved. But Mo’Nique ate and left no crumbs.

Loomis Rating: The Reading gets 2.5 out of 4 Gun-Totin’ Dr. Loomis’

2.5 out of 4 Gun-Totin' Dr. Loomis'

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