The Alchemist Cookbook (Movie Review)


Director: Joel Potrykus
Runtime: 82 minutes
Genre: Horror / Dark Comedy
Rating: Great

Not really a huge fan of Dark Comedy movies and novels but this one ticked my curiosity.

The plot was not explained thoroughly that the movie leaves you confused  if you don’t pay full attention on each scene. This movie catches you by surprise as it connects you to a certain familiar story we all heard of before as town whispers. The psychological ambiguity of the film is prominently stirring the audience’s analytical interest and curiosity. I liked how the lead character’s isolation and ambitious “alchemic” pursuit is well portrayed that it leaves you formulating hunches of what’s going on.


So we see our protagonist on the first scene toying with what looked like DIY chemical experiments while listening to his rap music. He then resorts to taking his pills / medications which gives away his probable mental state. Is he a nerd genius or just loosing his marbles? Throughout the film, the director somehow gives away clips to enhance the audience’s interest like at one point the lead character Sean, (Ty Hickson) was talking to his cat and next thing you know he is outside trying to oddly communicate to an unknown entity. One chilling factor I liked about this film was the sounding response of the ‘entity’ or whatever it is the lead character was trying to talk to. Minimal factors like these, makes the eerie vibe of  a good horror film.


I wanted to gush on how the characters are really well played in this experimental film. There are only two actors seen all through out the movie. Sean, (Ty Hickson) who’s the main character of the story and Cortez (Amari Cheatom) the supporting actor who plays Sean’s generous cousin.


Amari’s character totally stole the movie all together – i love it! 

The hilarity of his character broke the seriousness of a supposed to be one-man show. Nevertheless, both actors completely outdone themselves.

Arguments about the film

There wasn’t any explanation why Sean was messing around with an eponymous necronomicon type book  or what his goal was for wanting to summon an ancient demon in the woods. There also wasn’t any back story why he ended up living in the middle of the forest, alone in a trailer smaller than your normal walk in closet. So I guess, it’s up for the viewer to figure that out through creative hunches. There are however, very chilling scenes of the movie and mild gore scenes that would make you cringe on your seat. I also loved the fact that the filmmakers only showed minimal scenes of the summoned demon in surprising manners.

I would not recommend this film for mainstream lovers as you would probably get bored in the first 20 minutes of it. If you have an appetite on experimental art films such as this one, then you’re in for an interesting viewing. I promise, it gets creepy as it goes.



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