We’ve seen all manner of ghosts and demonic movies inspired by everything from biblical stories to gypsy curses. The latest thing to inspire blandness in horror is karma, the reference to the spiritual concept of cause and effect. The actions of one (cause) influences future consequences (effect). Good deeds contribute to good karma while bad deeds contribute to bad karma. It’s the latter that has inspired this movie imaginatively titled Karma.
The movie stars Manny played by Mandela Van Peebles who look like he’s about to walk off set at any stage. His acting is so muted and his reactions so poor that it’s safe to say he really didn’t want to do this film.
Manny and his wife, Alicia (Brytni Sarpy) are in debt. So much so that they are forced to live with her parents. Frank (Tim Russ), Manny’s father in law doesn’t respect Manny and is constantly on his case about being a man and providing for his daughter. To prove to Frank that he can provide, he takes a job with him repossessing houses.
Can you see where this is going already?
Manny has a real hard time evicting desperate people. It’s a horrible job but Frank has no sympathy for the sob-stories of the people they are kicking out. Manny’s torment about doing what is right while showing his father in law should make for a compelling watch. However, Van Peebles could be ordered a cup of coffee instead and his facial reactions wouldn’t change. Not only that the film is too heavy handed with its message here leading to Manny evicting an old college friend. One who has fallen on bad times and has a very sick mother.
This man, Kevin (Kanoa Goo) warns Manny not to do it but having been humiliated by his father in law pushes forward with the eviction. Thus incurring the wrath of a demonic presence, karma. Kevin knows exactly what is in store for Manny now seeing as the demon has been on his case ever since he was involved in a hit and run and got away with it.
It’s not long before Manny’s luck turns and supernatural incidents begin to happen around him. The demon is growing in strength and it’s not just Manny who it is targeting now. Will he be able to stop it and turn his luck around?
A supernatural horror about cause and effect is nothing new and Karma doesn’t even try to offer anything fresh here. It’s a lazy horror that culminates in a lacklustre ending that will have you wondering why you even bothered. It’s not fundamentally bad and for a SyFy horror, it’s a step up for them but it has no emotional stakes. Nor any interesting characters or scary moments to make it worth your time.
With a stronger and more interested cast it could have been better. However, so much screen time given to Manny. It’s him that will be in the forefront of the mind when reflecting in his horror. That is not a good thing.