HomeHorror'Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls' Struggles To

    ‘Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls’ Struggles To

    Oynx 568x320 - 'Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls' Struggles To Adapt Its Source Material [Sundance 2023 Review]

    Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls follows amateur occultist Marcus J. Trillbury, aka Onyx the Fortuitous. He’s a unique soul struggling to find his place in life. He thinks things will turn around when he gets invited to his idol’s mansion for a ritual. However, Onyx soon finds out that his idol has a much grander plan than raising a demon which puts Oynx, and his new friend group, in danger. It also puts Oynx on the path to his destiny and the purpose that he has longed for.

    Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls was written and directed by Andrew Bowser. The film is based on his internet alter ego OnyxThe Fortuitous (The Weird Satanist Guy), which has a massive following. His following was so large that his fanbase supported his Kickstarter and ultimately got this film made. This makes sense because, at its core, this movie has a lot of heart. In an interview, Bowser even talks about the theme of found family, and we can tell it’s celebrating anyone who feels they don’t belong. I think these good intentions will make most audiences want to root for this film and try to overlook the blemishes. 

    Also Read: ‘Run Rabbit Run’ Gets Caught In Too Many Familiar Traps [Sundance 2023 Review]

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    Like most movies based on SNL skits, it runs out of steam. That’s an ongoing problem for films based on bits and sketches. Transferring them to a longer format always comes with growing pains. While Onyx might kill it in a quick TikTok, it’s hard to sustain that energy for an hour and fifty minutes. It begins to feel like a hindrance to this character, who has to speak in this cadence, and continually prattle on for almost two hours. It ultimately feels like the embodiment of throwing all of your pasta at a wall in hopes something sticks. What might get a couple of giggles in an improv show or an internet clip will overstay its welcome.

    Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls gives Bowser only the briefest moment to show that he might be capable of more. The guests talk to this sick demon box that forces them to confront their truths. This sends our upbeat lead into a spiral, and we see this facade start to slip. However, before we can lean in too far, this moment devolves into an absinthe-induced music video that reminds us Oynx is a Meatloaf fan and will do anything for love.

    Also Read: ‘Infinity Pool’ Is The Piss-Soaked Episode of ‘White Lotus’ From Your Nightmares [Sundance 2023 Review]

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    One of the things Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls has going for it is an understanding of the 80s horror comedies that it’s paying homage to. I think the practical effects add charm and allow that team to shine as they get to join in on helping you spot the references. This movie has plenty of references to beloved 80s horror comedies, and that might be a fun game to play while watching.

    Another thing this movie has working in its favor is a very strong supporting cast. Barbara Crampton plays Nancy, Onyx’s mom, and is here to remind us that she has comedic timing. I’m sad she and Jeffrey Combs (who plays Bartok The Great) didn’t have a scene together. However, because this movie understands its references, Re-Animator fans do not go ignored. As someone raised on Living Single, I was also excited to see T.C. Carson (who played Mr. Duke) pop up. I feel like the supporting cast is one of the strongest highlights of the film. 

    While this movie isn’t my brand of humor, I think it’ll hit many people with nostalgia for the absurd comedies of decades past. The kind that had a lot of heart interwoven with a few dick jokes and nods to other movies the core audience will have connections to. I think this movie is also a win for all of us content creators, who dream of getting our stuff to the big screen.

    Let me know if you’re excited to see Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls at @misssharai.

    • Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls


    A lot of good intentions, many nods to beloved films, a stellar supporting cast, and some very fun creature designs try to hide the growing pains that come from trying to stretch this IP past the point of no return.

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