You fuckin’ what?
Secret CIA mind control projects!
This film has it all!
Well…. err.. it would have it all if it applied some basic common sense to the situation, but alas no.
Instead what we’re left with is a very tense (OK they got that bit right on the money), very dark (as in lighting) film with some truly fantastic ideas executed very poorly.
Is it the acting that lets it down? Maybe, but the scripting is a special kind of horror all of its own.
How do I even begin to review Banshee Chapter without continuously forcing my tongue over my bottom teeth, pushing out my labret and going.. muuh.. muuuh.. joey.. joey..
Anyway I’ll give it a go and hopefully we won’t see any more politically incorrect idioms. Send your complaints on the back of a postcard to: PO Box Go Fuck Yourself.
So shit kicks off like a typical found footage film.. except this time they use REAL footage.. WTF man? Yeah like from proper history and everything; American presidents confirming the existence of ‘controversial’ mind control programmes.
Then we jump to more found footage… this time (badly) scripted. One dude is about to take some uber-strength DMT and his friend is being a pussy who only came along to watch. Or document it.
Or some boring shit like that.
Seriously.. who the fuck nips round to a mates’ house only to watch him do all the drugs?
How far would the Beatles have got with that kind of mentality?
So yeah, even first time directors such as Blair Erickson are indoctrinated into propagating the media’s bullshit “drugs are bad, hmmk?” mantra.. wait.. or was that South Park? Who cares. The point is bad shit happens when you take drugs, especially if you’re a terrible actor in a poorly written horror film.
Both these dudes go missing in strange circumstances. I also went missing in strange circumstances once and ended up in a field in Glastonbury.. which is about 250 miles away. Not bad for someone who couldn’t drive and had already spent the last of his dole money on a sheet of Mad Haaaaaaaaaaannnnyywaaaay.. back to the film.
Then we somehow move away from the found footage style, very clunkily.. is clunkily a real word? Guess it is now..
So this chick who just so happens to be a journalist with epic research skills goes in search of one of the dudes – who we’re lead to believe banged her a few years previously.
Man I hate clingy women. Maybe she’s cashing in on child support or something.
Anyway as she’s showing off her epic research skills by moaning about her period or whatever, her collogue just so happens to have a book by a famous author who just so happens to be involved in some of the events that have taken place so far.
What are the chances of that happening? Amazing. Or just lazy writing.
So this is where the fun begins.
Clingy chick goes to hang out with the famous author who is obviously poorly modelled on a cross between Hunter S. Thompson, Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson.
This dude pisses me off big time and I’m not sure why.
Is his acting over the top? Is he just too one-dimensional?
I don’t know, but for someone who’s supposedly a seasoned trip-head he is the last person I’d like to trip with.
Now, I’m being a bit harsh on this film but it’s not all bad though.
The ideas, which are admittedly stolen from H.P. Lovecraft then merged with new-age hippy crap and pseudo quantum mechanics, are pretty fucking awesome.
Let me give you the dummy’s guide to quantum mechanics to get you up to speed ok..
Not because you’re a dummy, but because I am, this is explained at its most basic level for that reason..
Everything in this universe vibrates at a certain frequency.. like, that’s rock solid science shit right there. Go read up about it or watch a really cool series of videos I found.. this one stars Mr Personality himself:
Yeah I switched off after 04:28. How long did you last? Answers in the comments below please.
So anyway, according to some hippy shit our minds are tuned into this frequency, or reality. Now for the (other?) fiction (oh really?) bit.
Drugs like DMT alter which frequency we receive, ever so slightly. And just like tuning a radio to a different station, we experience a slightly different reality.
Now this idea is fucking dynamite.
It’s stuff that cults can be made from. And suddenly gives imaginary credibility to religions, psychics and every other spiritual scam in between.
Just picture the possibilities if this were true (it might be? No really, stop laughing).
Ahh.. Now replace drugs with technology.. ooooh..
Then you’ve got From Beyond by Lovecraft.. or The Mist by Stephen King.
Or Half Life by Valve.
What? That shit’s awesome.
So besides this film posing some pretty cool philosophical questions about the nature of reality, it doesn’t really do much else.
OK there’s the odd cheap jump-scare here and there, and the tension it builds is fantastic – the use of one dark room after another being pushed to its limit, but it never gets under your skin. It never goes to a place that you want it to. It all feels too reserved, too safe and is disappointingly anti-climactic.
This could have been a great film. Instead it’s mediocre.
Worth watching? Yeah it is actually.
But then I think all horror films are worth watching. Apart from World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2, cause that’s just total shit.