The Taking of Deborah Logan – (Horror, Supernatural, 2014) (18) D: Adam Robite W: Gavin Heffernan Adam Robitel C: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona. 1h 30m. USA.
Synopsis : What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her daughter’s struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all
Directorial debut from Adam Robitel in a dark and eerie independent supernatural horror mockumentary. An ambitious project but the idea is based around a small student phd team who are making a documentary on Alzheimer’s sufferer Deborah Logan (Larson). Heading the crew is budding film student Michelle Ang (Medina). There is a premise that the team are almost bribing the broke Logan with offers of money to pay for her medical bills, but it’s never made clear why she is so important to them. Quite early on in the movie the team and Deborah’s daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) becomes more associated with the film crew and going to them for help as the mysteries surrounding her mother become more obscure and frightening.
The story unravels slowly, picking through scraps of information found around and hidden in Deborahs home and the irrational and sordid outbursts from Deborah herself, hints are eventually dropped about a past client that was suspected of murdering children. Then things start to get weird and then go crazy. The team are on the search for this person who seems tied up with mysticism and the occult, while they try to unravel his motives and save Deborah.
For a low budget found footage film it neglects some of the rules (I’ll post them in a list at some point), which is why it will be popular with the fans and slated by the critics. While being clever and brings something slightly fresher to the genre it does so in a slightly muddled way. It does have a well crafted plot and is backed by sterling performances especially by Larson as she was put through her paces and showed no signs of strain. I great instant favorite for me, this film is edgy and delivers the scares with shocking regularity. It can be slow at times but it scary without a dramatic build up, it doesn’t linger on these unsettling moments, it swiftly moves on leaving a trail of shock hurdles to get over before it’s onto another unexpected marathon.
Rating – 7/10
V: I really enjoyed the film, but I’m giving it a seven as i feel it really has a bit more potential not in what it has done but what it could have avoided to cross all the t’s leave some unanswered questions and keep us guessing, Silent Hill (the game) wasn’t scary because it was the unknown, not because we worked anything out. More details in the post discussion
R: Possession of Michael King (2014), Grave Encounters (2011), Angel Heart (1987)