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Tarot (2024 Horror Film)
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"Tarot" is an upcoming supernatural horror film that delves into the dark mysteries of a cursed tarot deck discovered by a group of college friends during a weekend getaway. As they face gruesome deaths that eerily match their tarot predictions, the film explores the origins of the deck, the archetypal characters, and the tension between fate and free will. Directed by Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg, "Tarot" stands out by focusing on the rich symbolism of tarot cards, offering a unique twist on the horror genre. Despite mixed reviews, the film has achieved notable box office success and has already sparked plans for a sequel, promising to delve deeper into its chilling lore.

 

Tarot's Storyline

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During a weekend getaway in the Catskills, seven college friends—Haley, Grant, Paxton, Paige, Elise, Lucas, and Madeline—stumble upon an ancient set of tarot cards in a secret room filled with astrological artifacts. Despite initial reluctance, Haley, who has experience with tarot readings, performs a reading for the group. Soon after, the friends begin to die in ways that eerily match their tarot predictions, such as Elise's death by ladder and Lucas's by subway train. As the gruesome deaths continue, the group realizes they must uncover the mystery behind the cursed deck to escape their foretold fates. The malevolent entities from the tarot cards, including a spirit known as "The Astrologer," manifest to exact their vengeance, leading to a desperate race against time to break the curse and survive.
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Tarot Movie Trailer

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Tarot: Reviews and Critiques

"Tarot" has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, reflected in its IMDb score of 4.2/10. The film has been critiqued for its predictability, lack of originality, and thin character development. Reviewers have noted that the narrative adheres too closely to conventional horror tropes, resulting in a plot that feels overly familiar and lacking in genuine surprises. The dialogue has been described as awkward and the characters as one-dimensional, with only a few standout performances. Despite these criticisms, some praise has been given to the film's creative kills and the aesthetically pleasing design of the tarot cards, which add brief moments of intrigue. Below is a summary of the main critiques and praise:
AspectCritique/Praise
PredictabilityThe plot is seen as overly familiar and lacking in surprises.
Character DevelopmentCharacters are described as thinly written and one-dimensional.
DialogueDialogue is considered awkward and unconvincing.
Creative KillsSome praise for inventive kills and costuming.
Tarot Card DesignAesthetically pleasing design of the tarot cards adds brief moments of intrigue.
Overall, while "Tarot" has some redeeming qualities, it ultimately falls short of delivering a memorable horror experience.
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Who Are The Talented Young Actors Bringing 'Tarot' to Life

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The film "Tarot" features an ensemble cast of young actors, each bringing their unique talents to the horror genre. Below is a table summarizing the main cast members and their respective roles in the movie.
ActorRole
Harriet SlaterHaley
Adain BradleyGrant
Jacob BatalonPaxton
AvantikaPaige
Humberly GonzálezMadeline
Wolfgang NovogratzLucas
Larsen ThompsonElise
Olwen FouéréAlma
The cast also includes notable performances from Suncica Milanovic as the Astrologer, Alan Wells as Hanson, and Joss Carter as The Devil, among others. This diverse group of actors contributes to the film's dynamic and engaging portrayal of characters facing supernatural horrors.
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Tarot Movie (Photos)

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Tarot's Box Office Performance

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"Tarot" has achieved notable box office success despite mixed critical reviews. Below is a summary of its financial performance:
  • Opening Weekend: $6,503,012 (35.5% of total gross)
  • Domestic Gross: $18,314,000
  • International Gross: $27,000,000
  • Worldwide Gross: $45,314,000
  • Production Budget: $8,000,000
  • Domestic Share: 40.4%
  • Theater Count: 3,104 theaters at peak
  • Average Run: 3.3 weeks per theater
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 21%
"Tarot" outperformed initial projections, grossing $7 million domestically in its opening weekend and $20 million globally within ten days, nearly tripling its production budget. Despite a tepid critical reception, the film's financial success underscores its appeal to audiences.
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Tarot Explained: The Origins of the Cursed Deck

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The origins of the Cursed Tarot Deck are shrouded in mystery, with various legends and theories surrounding its creation. Some believe it was crafted by a powerful seer who imbued the cards with dark magic to foresee and manipulate future events. Others suggest it was the work of a malevolent entity, designed to bring misfortune and death to those who dare to use it. Historical accounts trace the deck back to the 16th century, where it was rumored to have been used by a secretive cult in Europe. This cult allegedly performed dark rituals, using the deck to summon and communicate with otherworldly spirits. Over time, the deck changed hands, leaving a trail of tragedy and unexplained deaths in its wake. The deck's malevolent nature is further evidenced by the intricate and disturbing artwork on each card, which depicts scenes of suffering and doom. These images are said to be so vivid and unsettling that they can induce nightmares and hallucinations in those who gaze upon them for too long. The cards themselves are made from an unknown material that has resisted all attempts at analysis, adding to their enigmatic and cursed reputation. In modern times, the deck resurfaced in various occult circles, often accompanied by stories of its deadly influence. It is said that anyone who performs a reading with the Cursed Tarot Deck is doomed to experience the grim fate foretold by the cards, with no possibility of escape. This has led to the deck being feared and avoided by even the most seasoned practitioners of the occult.
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Character Archetypes and Their Tarot Counterparts

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In "Tarot," each character embodies a specific archetype that corresponds to a tarot card, adding depth to their roles and the narrative. Below is a list of the main character archetypes and their tarot counterparts:
  • Haley (The Fool): Represents the Eternal Child, embarking on a journey of discovery and facing the unknown with innocence and curiosity.
  • Grant (The Magician): Embodies the Alchemist, using skill and cunning to navigate challenges and manipulate circumstances.
  • Paxton (The Hermit): Reflects the Wise Man, seeking solitude and inner wisdom to understand the mysteries of the cursed deck.
  • Paige (The Empress): Symbolizes the Mother, providing nurturing and emotional support to the group amidst the chaos.
  • Elise (The Hanged Man): Represents the Seeker, willing to sacrifice and look at situations from different perspectives to find solutions.
  • Lucas (The Chariot): Embodies the Warrior, demonstrating determination and strength in the face of supernatural threats.
  • Madeline (The High Priestess): Reflects the Mystic, possessing intuitive knowledge and spiritual insight into the deck's dark powers.
These archetypal roles not only enhance the characters' depth but also align with the film's exploration of fate, free will, and the rich symbolism of tarot cards.
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The Role of Fate and Free Will in Tarot

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The film explores the interplay between fate and free will through the characters' interactions with the Cursed Tarot Deck. Some believe that tarot can predict an unalterable destiny, while others argue that the cards merely show potential outcomes that can be changed through the exercise of free will. The characters must grapple with whether their gruesome fates are predetermined by the deck's dark prophecies or if they have the power to alter their circumstances and escape doom. This tension between accepting one's fate versus taking action to shape a different future is a central theme that adds depth and complexity to the characters' struggles against the supernatural evil unleashed by the tarot.
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What sets 'Tarot' apart from other horror movies based on zodiac signs and horoscopes?

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While many horror films have explored themes related to astrology and horoscopes, "Tarot" stands out by focusing specifically on the iconography and lore of tarot cards. The filmmakers, Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen, were drawn to the inherent eeriness of tarot, noting "There's something that's so terrifying about this idea that you could predict the future or know what's going to happen." Rather than simply using zodiac signs as a gimmick, "Tarot" delves into the rich symbolism of the tarot deck itself. The movie features an ancient tarot deck that unleashes a malevolent astrologer who manifests as the haunting characters pictured on each card. This allows for a visually striking and unsettling premise as the filmmakers "partnered the iconography of these cards with something we've never seen before — seeing them come to life." "Tarot" also aims to explore deeper themes of fate versus free will that go beyond typical zodiac-based horror. Halberg explained they wanted to reflect different perspectives, from skeptics to those who believe "their fate is written in the stars," ultimately grounding the film in the fascinating history and lore surrounding tarot and astrology. By tying the supernatural scares to thought-provoking ideas and real-world details, "Tarot" strives to craft a more unique, layered, and chilling tale compared to other films in the subgenre.
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A Sequel Titled "Tarot 2" Has Already Been Announced

Following the success of "Tarot," a sequel titled "Tarot 2" has been announced, promising to delve deeper into the dark lore of the cursed tarot deck. The sequel will continue to explore the themes of fate and free will, with a new group of characters encountering the malevolent forces within the cards. Directors Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg return to helm the project, aiming to expand on the original's mythology while introducing fresh scares and more complex character arcs. The film is expected to feature an ensemble cast, including some returning actors and new faces, to bring the chilling story to life once again. "Tarot 2" is set to push the boundaries of supernatural horror, leveraging the rich symbolism of tarot to craft an even more terrifying and thought-provoking narrative.
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