There is an absolute difference in watching Horror movies at home or at the cinema. At home, you can reduce the illusion caused by our vision to perceive the images as real by simply putting the lights on. And of course you can always have the opportunity of controlling the remote to push fast forward. If you happen to find a horror film on cable, and you either saw the incomplete part of it then most likely the effect of it isn’t there. When you’re in a theatre and you choose to sit at the farthest, there’s unlikely chance of you perceiving that illusion of a visual.
I will not contest with you to be an avid fan of horrors or suspense. There is an entirely different ground to that and I don’t think I am in the position to tell you how to watch something. But here’s a quick review on the suspense horror film directed by Scott Derrickson whose body of work include The Exorcism of Emily Rose. He also co-wrote this with C. Robert Cargill.
At first I thought this would be yet another Oren Peli film because at this point the use of family and handy cam videos are getting on my nerves. It is however an excellent gateway to a perfect horror film. It may all lie in how well the film would be executed, in which it should be in it’s raw format the way Paranormal Activity was first introduced.
But then again this isn’t an Oren Peli film.
The story is about a true crime author Ellison who moves into a house that was once vacated by a family mysteriously killed while their daughter has been missing. Ellison is played by Ethan Hawke who, apart from acting, is a writer in real life. Upon moving he discovers a box filled with home videos each dated apart and goes as far back as the late 60’s. His kids are young and his wife worries that they might be living in yet another blood-bathed home but Ellison denies this with the hopes of getting the bestseller story he needs for his family’s future.
He begins his research on the missing girl, Stephanie, but gets curious about the videos on the box. He sets up the projector and begins to watch a seemingly wonderful family hanging out in the backyard. A few minutes later, with the film being cut directly to the horrific ending.
During his investigation, Ellison gets help from an unlikely fan whom names himself as Deputy So and So played by James Ransone . He may be the only one who should be providing parts of the connection between all the family videos and the disappearance of Stephanie and all the other kids and his part in the movie is enough to feed us information on how the movie will then progress. But no, apparently the entity that Ellison chooses to put the blame on is a goon called Mr. Boogie.
Cheesy. But that’s not all.
A sign shows up on all the videos and voila, it’s a pagan story. Mr Boogie apparently is also known as Bughuul.
I was horrified as I got out of the cinema. To be honest I even had a bad dream after watching this. It’s not as scary as a black and white silent horror film or Suspiria but I was taken by the time a figure had appeared in the pool. (That’s it. That’s the end of the details) I was impressed by the timing of the suspense scenes in this, I have to say though I got bored during the parts wherein drama had to be added to show tension in Ellison’s family, the ending was something I had already expected but I guess I was too excited to even pay attention to the movie poster to realize something important in the film I did not expect that person to do that.
All in all, I appreciate the fact that I was scared. Whether it was because of that other boy in the box, or all the dead families. The timing as I had mentioned was good. Its just that when all the kids had to be revealed it wasn’t that scary anymore (again, depends on you) additional pagan insights were full of shit but probably relevant in some way but not a really fun way to add it on the movie just to prove that everything has to have a reason. Everything that’s added to have a reason is no longer scary but anyway, you guys already had me scared even before that part.