Temple (2017) Horror Movie Review


“Temple,” a horror film directed by Michael Barrett, takes viewers on a journey to the eerie landscapes of Japan, where folklore and terror intertwine. The movie follows a trio of American tourists, led by the inquisitive Kate (Natalia Warner), as they venture into the heart of an ancient and mysterious temple deep within the Japanese forests.

The narrative unfolds with a sense of impending doom, as the characters ignore multiple ominous warnings from locals, setting the stage for a classic horror setup. The film attempts to weave together the rich tapestry of Japanese myth with the thrill of the supernatural, but does it succeed in delivering a compelling horror experience?

Critics have been divided on “Temple,” with some appreciating its attempt to break away from the standard order of horror films, while others found it lacking in depth and innovation. The film has been described as a “listless genre exercise” that fails to leave a lasting impression, akin to the horror movie equivalent of canned Spam. Despite the potential richness of its setting, “Temple” has been criticized for not fully exploring the legends and lore of its titular location, leaving viewers with more questions than answers.

The performances, particularly by Warner and Logan Huffman, who plays Chris, Kate’s childhood friend, are commendable but are often overshadowed by the film’s inability to develop its characters fully. The narrative, described as truncated and the characters as lacking impact, suggests a missed opportunity to delve deeper into the psychological horror that the setting could provide.

“Temple” does have its moments, with some critics noting a handful of scenes that successfully evoke terror and intrigue. However, these moments are sparse and struggle to carry the film through its brief 78-minute runtime. The movie’s reliance on J-horror tropes without adding a fresh twist has also been a point of contention among reviewers.

In the Nutshell

“Temple” is a film that teeters on the edge of the unknown, flirting with the potential of its premise but never fully embracing the darkness it could explore. For fans of the genre, it may offer a few chills, but for those seeking a horror film that delves deep into its mythological roots, “Temple” may leave them wandering in the mist, searching for a scare that never quite materializes. Whether “Temple” is a journey worth taking is a decision that lies with the viewer, as the film ultimately becomes a reflection of one’s own expectations of horror and the supernatural.  I give 2 out of 5 stars. 

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Genre: Paranormal, Asian

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