Char Man (2019)

Director:Kurt Ela, Kipp Tribble, .
Starring. Kurt Ela, Kipp Tribble, Nick Greco. USA. 1h 25m

I really tried for this found footage film, not only was it released on my birthday but it sounded like it might be fun. I turned off all the lights and waited for the creepy guy who stands outside my house to assume his position.. I was poised to be scared and for a while it really did work, then all the fear faded away..

So a trio of guys are out filming a documentary of a local vampire legend, but while stumbling around trying to make things believable and scary they learn about the legend of the Char Man from a local history buff. Now the whole idea of filming a documentary isn’t all that new *cough* Blair Witch *cough* but finding out about one on the way adds an extra edge as the group were not prepared in any way for what they might unleash, this did add a bit of spice but pretty soon the film collapsed on itself and succumbed to all the typical found footage nonsense.

Eric (Tribble) and Cameron (Ela) is the driving force behind this labour of love, quite literally as they are co directors of the film also. They are accompanied by a laid back camera man and part time baby sitter, Andy (Greco) from the opening of the film Eric and Cameron are instantly pissing each other off leaving the camera man to have to help calm down many a heated argument, at first it’s mostly about a clown doll that Eric employs to help the story along, it’s from his past and means a lot to him and Cameron being the poison little dwarf that he is, keeps chucking it around with total disrespect but strangely it keeps finding its way home, everyone assumes someone else is doing.

A few oddities start happening in their rented home, at night the taps turn on and there’s an amazingly bad smell but it’s put down to bad drains. By day things aren’t going so well as the story of the Vampire starts leading to dead ends, until they meet a local historian Kent Bridwell (Jeff Kober) who illuminates another more deadly real legend of the Char Man and instantly the oddities start to multiply, strange people can be seen peering through the windows as night, they chase them into the garden where they keep a distance but remain standing like statues just staring. The towns people pretend they don’t exist and yet they still struggle on with their production.

I will admit that it did scare me a little at first, mostly because I didn’t know how far each scare was going to go, but each time it was just so lazily let down.Kipp and Kurt do have some talent for building tension but they seem not to be able to hold on to it and they fumble when the need to amy things up. The film seems clunky as its delivered in fits and starts, it brings to build up some pace then everyone wants to sit down and talk about it, understandably the characters get so tired by the end as their nights are spent being stalked by masked figures but their constant terrible decisions really starts to annoy and stalls the films development.

The backstory of the Char Man isn’t solid they uncover a lot of potential origins but nothing they dig up matches what’s happening which just makes the film a giant waste of time, and this is coming from someone who believed in it so much..

In closing, if those little problems are sorted out then I believe these guys can go on to better things. but turning a potential white knuckle ride into a horror feature about dodgy cherry knocking kids is a bit meh.

Rating 4/10

RThe Blair Witch (1999), Moth (2016), The Ritual (2017)
L – A-Z of Found footage
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