Netflix is surprising their audience with a brand new feature film from horror powerhouse Blumhouse Productions titled Mercy Black. The film is available on the streaming platform starting today.
The movie is helmed by writer-director Owen Egerton, known for his film Blood Fest, and tells the story of a woman named Marina Hess (Daniella Pineda) who lures a classmate into the woods with the intent of sacrificing her in order to summon a mythical being known as Mercy Black. After spending 15 years in a mental institution for the incident, Marina is released back into the world only to find that Mercy Black has become a viral sensation. Marina soon begins to question her own sanity and becomes determined to stop the mysterious being before any more damage can be done.
Mercy Black is eerily similar to the real-life story of Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who stabbed their friend multiple times with the intention of becoming "proxies" for Slender Man, a creature that was created as a Creepypasta story back in 2009. More recently, it also falls in line with the MoMo challenge, an urban legend that was fueled by speculative media reports and parents who feared for their children and the online content they were exploring. According to an interview with EW, Egerton said, "I'm trying to scare myself with concepts and moments," adding in that he really wants to scare himself with, "film situations that make me feel horribly uncomfortable." The root of this story is one that's, unfortunately, an all-too-real premise that will certainly add an uncomfortable aura for its viewers.
Mercy Black is another notch in Blumhouse's incredibly successful cinematic belt. The film is the company's third release so far this year, following Glass and Happy Death Day 2U, with four other films set for release later in the year. Blumhouse founder, Jason Blum, also helped in producing Jordan Peele's wildly successful sophomore feature, Us, which opened to impressive critical, audience, and box office success this year.
Grounding a horror film in real cultural phenomenons almost always makes for an interesting story. But the relevance of this film brings more to the table than just an entertaining horror flick. The importance of internet safety, especially in regard to children, is a topic that bears repeating. Stories such as Slender Man or MoMo have a greater impact on younger, more susceptible, minds, and movies like Mercy Black deliver a bigger message about the powerful influence that these viral stories can have on some people.