Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Possession of Michael King

The Possession of Michael King
(2014) Shane Johnson, Cara Pifko, Julie McNiven, Ella Anderson, Tomas Arana, Patricia Healy, Cullen Douglas, Jed Rees, Tobias Jelinek, and Dale Dickey

Let me start by saying that I generally don’t like found footage type films. No matter how good the story is, I just can’t get past the shaky cam, it’s rather nauseating. With that in mind, this film is done so well, and with a minimum of actual “shakiness”, that I didn’t mind. I went into this with zero expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. This film is much better than it has any right being.

Michael is an atheist who recently lost his wife in an unfortunate accident. After confronting his late wife’s “spiritual adviser” (a tarot card reader), he decides to make a documentary featuring what he believes will be proof that the supernatural doesn’t exist. He’s going to do any ritual he can find and when none of them work, that’ll be the proof he says. As is obvious in the title, things go horribly wrong.

Everything was remarkably good for a little indie film. Acting, effects, makeup, all were pretty stellar. The one thing I could say about it is that there were a few too many jump scares in a film that was creepy enough that it didn’t need them. There weren’t so many that I got annoyed, but still, the film could have done without. The plot was really simple, but it was done so well that it didn’t really need more. And that’s pretty much it. I’m trying to find other stuff to say, but “it was pretty great” pretty much covers it. A solid 8/10 from me.

M.

This film is currently streaming on Tubi.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Taking of Deborah Logan

The Taking of Deborah Logan
(2014) Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona, Anne Bedian, Brett Gentile, Jeremy DeCarlos, Tonya Bludsworth, and Julianne Taylor

the-taking-of-deborah-logan

SPOILERS AHEAD

Let me start by stating that I had absolutely no intention of watching this film when I found out it was a found-footage style film. I can count on one hand the number of these films I’ve enjoyed, I just don’t see the appeal. They’re supposed to be more frightening since it’s “more real”, I guess, but really all it is is annoying. The shaky camera, especially when the characters are running (and they always do at some point), is nothing except nausea inducing. You can’t even see what’s happening. It’s a genre that has long over-stayed it’s welcome, and I for one will be happy to see it go away. Alright, so, this film. After reading a few reviews, here and on movie sites, saying how good it was, I decided to go ahead and give it a watch, fully expecting to turn it off halfway. And I have to admit, it was pretty good. Jill Larson turned in a marvelous and rather creepy performance as Deborah, which is good since the rest of the cast is pretty mediocre. It was a little slow in some parts, but it built good suspense, so that was ok. That was the good. Now the bad. The ending left much to be desired. It had everything I mentioned I hated about found footage films, and then some. Running, incoherent yelling, the camera light flicking on and off, the image snowing in and out, tons of static, and it lasted for a good 20 minutes. So that knocked a point off its score. The main film student, Mia, was painfully stupid sometimes, so that knocked off another point. And then there was the whole snake thing, culminating in that moronic head-eating scene, and that squeezed another point off. For a film that had been good and scary, that ending was very much a disappointment. But everything before that was quite impressive, enough that it still manages a score of 7/10.

This film is currently streaming on Netflix and, despite its problems, I still reccomend it. Enjoy!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project
(1999) Heather Donahue, Michael Williams and Joshua Leonard

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The Blair Witch Project was brilliant in so many ways. It was well thought out, a great idea, well marketed and groundbreaking. That being said, I hated it. I don’t know if I would have liked it more had I seen it not knowing it was fake. I sat there watching, waiting, hoping it would get better, and when it ended with never having done anything, I threw my remaining popcorn at the tv. I’ve seen a a lot of horror films in my day. Like A LOT. And not many of them bored me quite as much as Blair Witch did. We also have this film to thank for the ever-increasing amount of found-footage films being made. So thanks so much!! That was sarcasm, in case you missed it. These films need to stop. No, really, we’ve had enough. 1/10, only for the cool way it was marketed.

I think the film is on Netflix, but I’m not 100% sure. Go check for yourself if you’re interested :-p

M.