Beneath a seemingly innocent canvas lies unspeakable horrors. Each brushstroke harbors a harrowing secret just beneath its idyllic veneer. In the new horror film, The Well, Lisa is about to learn that the deepest shade of red comes not from a paintbrush, but from the sliced flesh of human sacrifices.
The Well tells the story of Lisa Grey, an art restorer who has traveled to a remote Italian village to restore a painting for the eccentric Emma. But, as she starts to work on the painting, she begins to have chilling visions of the subjects portrayed on the canvas.
Meanwhile, below the castle, harbors an even more deadly secret. For, imprisoned in the castle’s ancient well is a monstrous creature that demands sacrifices in order to satisfy an ancient curse that grants its worshippers eternal youth.
As Lisa continues to restore the painting, she eventually learns of its sinister history and its ties to the creature hidden in the well. As Lisa attempts to rescue those destined to become the next sacrifice to the monster, she finds her attempts thwarted by those who seek to keep the curse from being broken.
Forced to finish the restoration before midnight in order to continue the curse. Lisa races to foil the evil ritual, now allied with Emma’s sympathetic daughter who longs to end the curse.
In the pulse-pounding climax, the blood moon rises, and Lisa finds herself fighting for her life against Emma, her evil accomplices, and the demonic creature. Her only hope is to destroy the painting before it’s too late.
While The Well offers some chilling and gripping sequences, the film unfortunately feels a bit disjointed in its storytelling. The central narrative focuses on Lisa Grey, and the terrifying visions she experiences while working on the painting. However, the film often cuts away from Lisa’s increasingly disturbing encounters to focus on a secondary storyline involving a group of hostages being brutally murdered.
While likely designed to ratchet up tension and shock value, these graphic torture scenes feel tonally disjointed from Lisa’s central arc. Her reactions to the sinister painting and its role in unleashing an ancient curse provide the most compelling elements. But rather than develop Lisa’s emotional journey and deepening sense of dread, the film too frequently cuts to the brutal murders in the basement.
The violent scenes aim to heighten the horror but end up distracting from the main narrative focus on Lisa. With some tighter editing and sharpened emphasis on Lisa’s perspective, her storyline could have created enough natural tension on its own. By keeping the viewer locked into her experience as she unravels the mystery, the film could have delivered an atmospheric slow-burn horror vibe.
Instead, the graphic detours disrupt Lisa’s arc just when it should intensify. While certainly shocking, these tangents weaken the focus on Lisa’s emotional spiral. In the end, staying true to her perspective could have allowed The Well to fully deliver on its creepy potential without the need for gratuitous violence.
Similarly, the choices in depicting the ancient creature undermine its ability to frighten. In one fleeting moment, we catch a glimpse of its decayed hands in the darkness, providing a chilling hint of its presence. But then not long after the creature is fully revealed, losing much of its terrifying aura of the unknown built up to that point. Obscuring the monster and playing on imagination and mystery provides far more effective scares. By relying on an overt, full reveal rather than subtle hints, The Well again trades genuine suspense for superficial shock value.
Despite some flaws, The Well is an effectively chilling and well-made horror film that remains engaging from start to finish. Through Lisa’s emotional performance, the audience becomes invested in her tragic corruption by sinister forces. The hostage scenes add extra layers of shocking gore for horror fans. Above all, The Well succeeds as a morality tale about power’s corrupting nature. By the finale, the film drives home its message about greed’s influence on even pure-hearted people.