BANSHEE CHAPTER (REVIEW)
Dir. Blair Erikson
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Based on true events fetched from the archives of the CIA, BANSHEE CHAPTER finally squashes conspiracy for bullshit in the latest story telling controversy. In fact, this is a surprisingly different retelling of the H.P. Lovecraft story, FROM BEYOND.
After the chilling death and disappearance of friends James (Michael McMillian) and Raoul (David Midthunder) the shocking extent of a drug known as MK Ultra begins to get unearthed. Anna (Katia Winter) takes the investigation into her own hands as she tries to find the whereabouts of Raoul. The only path she has to go on is the drug and finds author and Hunter S. Thomson-a-like Thomas Blackburn (Ted Levine) to seek the truth.
The closer she and Blackburn get to the source of the disappearance, the sooner they will realise that they are next.
Winters and Levine give powerful performances holding together a plot that has more questions than answers and thankfully let the flaws take back seat for the sheer terror BANSHEE CHAPTER brings with it.
From the moment the film begins, the film doesn’t miss a chance to make you jump out your seat as everyone and everything falls to clever scare tactics from director Blair Erickson. I never thought the great reverend Noolan from TRUE BLOOD would make me spill the contents of my cup and reduce to the screams of a high pitched girl but that moment has come.
Kick starting with found footage and interjecting with scientific experiments filmed by the black and white lenses of yesterday it is with great shame that when the film appears in the standard filming it falls down. The shaky camera and over the shoulder shots that are famous from the found footage genre are a confusing addition that question if there is a third party along for the ride. In fact, I never thought I would say this but with Banshee’s techniques and claustrophobic scares, the found footage niche would have been perfect and possibly been better for it.
When it comes to ticking the boxes for a horror film, BANSHEE CHAPTER has it all. Scares at every turn? Check. Crazy monsters/demons/aliens (the clarity isn’t there but it remains, whatever lurks in the dark, is scary as Hell!)? Check. A lead character who’s batshit crazy? Check and of course, the leading lady who survives the day. All this and not a single Banshee in sight.
One thing is certain, besides its unclear conclusion, this is the scariest film of the year and the bench mark for 2014 so far.