Nneka the Pretty Serpent is a 2020 horror-mystery film directed by Zeb Ejiro and Tosin Igho, and starring Idia Aisien, Bimbo Ademoye, and Judith Audu, alongside other cast members. The movie has a runtime of 140 minutes.
The Netflix synopsis reads:
Years after the mysterious murder of her parents, a traumatized woman gains supernatural powers that aid in her quest for revenge against the killers.
– Nneka the Pretty Serpent review does not contain spoilers –
Nneka the Pretty Serpent starts with a tragic flashback to give background to the rest of this mammoth runtime. As her parents are killed on the eve of her mother’s birthday, Nneka witnesses this and grows up wanting to solve the mystery of what happened to her parents.
Listen, I tried to keep an open mind while watching Nneka the Pretty Serpent. It’s a horror mystery movie, after all. However, unfortunately for the movie, I was bored within the first half an hour. And if you think that I am making up my mind too soon, you’d be wrong. The movie does not really pick up the pace or add anything interesting to the tale any time soon. There is just a lot of flat stares and slow walks.
Nneka talks slowly and confusedly to everyone around her. Nneka the Pretty Serpent is essentially a revenge story. So, I am confused as to what the point of the serpent being pretty is. Does the revenge-taking serpent have to be pretty? Is it a prerequisite? Does she have to give up her serpentine powers if she isn’t pretty?
I also wonder, will the tax department not ask Nneka from where she got the money to suddenly make such big purchases? I am sure it’ll be difficult to prove a dead grandma from nowhere leaving behind a huge inheritance.
As the story rolls forward, it becomes painfully clear that the movie will never be immediate or feel important. The characters don’t feel like they have anything important to do, there’s no immediacy in their actions. Additionally, the narrative, too, is so very slow. We follow people walking around for a huge chunk of the runtime and we all know that that’s not fun at all.
Also, if this wasn’t enough, throw in the nice-old slut-shaming and babying a full-blown adult man and you’ll have your skin crawling in no time.
Moreover, Nneka the Pretty Serpent has a few murder scenes (because, revenge) but even those scenes just happen. There’s nothing sinister, thrilling or fast about it. Just plop – and you have a dead body. The chilled-out attitude of everyone associated with this movie truly brings it down, along with the unnecessarily long runtime.
Nneka the Pretty Serpent is also very dark. No, not the atmosphere, the lighting. The shadows are harsh and it’s difficult to watch the movie half of the time without cranking up the brightness. The acting, too, is pretty below average. Idia Aisien, especially, does not pack the punch necessary to pull this show through. The CGI is horrendous as well.
Summing up: Nneka the Pretty Serpent
Nneka the Pretty Serpent is boring and lacks the punch necessary for revenge-thriller movies. It attempts to bring supernatural horror into the element but lacks any and all punches to keep the viewers glued to the screens. It’s your usual revenge thriller, but without any thrills whatsoever.
Nneka the Pretty Serpent is streaming on Netflix.