The experiments are over, the terror has just begun…

Directed by Blair Erickson

Reviewed by Deep Red

Starring Katia Winter as Anne Roland, Ted Levine as Thomas Blackburn, Michael McMillian as James Hirsch, Alex Gianopoulos as Renny, William Sterchi as Henry Cale, Vivian Nesbitt as Olivia Kmiec, Chad Brummett as Dr. Kessel, Corey Moosa as Patient 11, Monique Candelaria as Patient 14 and Jenny Gabrielle as Callie.

Ok, I’ve been looking forward to this one since I saw the trailer, as you do. Now, I’m not interested at all in Project MKUltra or anything like that which this film is apparently based on to some degree, something to do with the U.S. government experimenting with chemical agents I think. I had a quick look on Wiki and I almost fell asleep reading about it so I’m just going to concentrate on the film, as a film, and anybody interested in the true story can go and look it up elsewhere. It’s also based on the same H. P. Lovecraft story as From Beyond (1986) too, a superb film starring Jeffrey Combs that all horror fans should check out immediately if they haven’t seen it. Oh and I thought that the poster for Banshee Chapter was rubbish so I’m including the DVD cover which I thought was better if fairly generic, the other is just such a crap poster.

A guy called James Hirsch takes some DMT while his friend, Renny, films him doing that so he can accurately document the experience while James is fucked up so to speak, something goes badly wrong and James goes missing. Anne Roland, another close friend of James, wants to find out what happened to him so she starts investigating. His friend Renny was questioned by the police but he also went missing. She interviews an ex-codebreaker called Henry Cale about some strange radio transmissions, she also manages to get close to a man called Thomas Blackburn (Ted Levine who plays Jame Gumb in The Silence of the Lambs ’91), this crazy author guy. She descends deeper into the investigation with Blackburn in tow and…. well. you’ll have to watch the film.

I think it’s an excellent film with very good acting, especially Levine, and the story’s something original. It has the look and feel of a found footage film in the main but isn’t; it employs a variety of different styles, real news footage, found footage-style scenes, standard filming and so on which all blend together well making a really good visual ride overall. It also has a killer soundtrack. There’s a nice amount of tension and a few decent jumps but it’s not what you’d call a special effects film, more a well-executed story with special effects where necessary that do the job sufficiently well. I just found it really engrossing, it’s Blair Erickson’s directing debut and I think he’s one to watch out for possibly. I could easily watch it multiple times so for a fiver I’m made up really. I love Ted Levine in Silence of the Lambs so it was a treat to see him in a lead role here. I would highly recommend Banshee Chapter as an evening’s entertainment. It’s good stuff!