Monday, July 14, 2014

Film Review: Banshee Chapter (2013)

Banshee Chapter (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...most of the jump-scares work thanks to some carefully crafted suspense."

Journalist Anne Roland (Katia Winter) tracks the disappearance of college friend James Hirsch, who was investigation the government's Project MKUltra.

The story continues to follow Anne as she retraces James' steps prior to his disappearance, which includes investigating his sources. Particularly, a source who acquired a drug used in Project MKUltra. This source being foul-mouthed, anti-social author Thomas Blackburn (Ted Levine). So, Anne, along with Thomas, decide to get busy and solve the mystery. Looking back, it's not really an in-depth story, but it is distinct for the genre. The ending took a bit to fully understand, and a little clarification research was required afterward, but it was generally decent.

The Banshee Chapter is a very good horror/thriller film. The film is mostly traditional filmmaking, with some mockumentary and typical found-footage horror blended in. The horror is mostly reliant on loud-noise jump-scares and some spooky visuals. Fortunately, this is a case where most of the jump-scares work thanks to some carefully crafted suspense. A few are duds that fall flat, but most will jolt you. These are jump-scares, though, so they may not be as scary if you watch the movie a second time around -- one of the major flaws for jump-scares. Banshee Chapter is also well balanced and paced, it ended before I knew it.

The acting was all-around good. Katia Winter is good as the lead, although the role doesn't demand much. I thought Ted Levine was really good, though. The film looks and sounds great, too. However, despite only having a few found-footage sequences, the camerawork is reminiscent of the found-footage genre; in other words, it occasionally gets unnecessarily shaky. Director Blair Erickson does well in crafting suspense and delivering jolting climaxes; the story is good, too, but could've used both clarification and more depth.

Overall, I really enjoyed Banshee Chapter. It's a very good horror film. The blend of traditional, found-footage and mockumentary is great, the story is interesting, and the suspense and horror is well crafted. There is room for improvement, though, and the jump-scares may be less effective upon further viewings. Worth watching for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

No comments:

Post a Comment