Monday, September 1, 2014

Film Review: 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck (2012)

100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck (Review)
United States/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most generic and cliché films I've seen..."

Paranormal investigators visit the site of Richard Speck's killing spree for a documentary.

That's it. There's not much else for me to say regarding the plot because the plot is nearly nonexistent. The paranormal investigators enter the facility after setting up cameras, lock themselves in, shoot some b-roll, then witness paranormal events. The events become more and more aggressive causing the crew to want to leave but, you guessed it, they're locked in. Finally, it reaches a nauseating climax of characters running around from something you can barely see and a predictable ending.

Fortunately, 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck doesn't pretend to be more than it really is: a generic found-footage clone. This keeps the filler to an appreciated minimum. It doesn't waste time on poor character development like many found-footage films do --this film knows its characters are cliches cardboard cutouts. Unfortunately, it also feels a bit on the repetitive side, especially without the filler -- I guess it's a lose-lose situation for 100 Ghost Street.

As for its horror, it has some light suspense and a few decent jump-scares. There are a couple of scenes with some great subtly and great use of shadows, but these are easily outweighed by the jump-scares. There are a lot of scenes where the character gets dragged away -- I don't know if that's supposed to be scary. Also, the film barely makes use of its setting; it's just a bunch of hallways with dirt on the walls, nothing memorable or even creepy. I didn't find any of it frightening, per se -- it's fun and occasionally exciting, but I won't lose a second of sleep.

Considering this is one of the most generic and cliché films I've seen in a while, the acting caught me by surprise. It's actually decent -- nothing particularly impressive, but far from terrible. Otherwise, it's a standard found-footage horror film. The lighting is decent, but it does have some cool shadows. 100 Ghost Street suffers occasionally from the shaky-cam; it's mostly controlled, but it it occasionally nauseating. Director Martin Andersen and writer Nancy Leopardi do a good job copying and pasting every found-footage movie before it -- in other words, I don't think there was much directing or writing going on, looks like they winged it.

Overall, 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck is a bad found-footage horror film. It's extremely cliché and generic from beginning to end, and offers nothing new to the genre. In fact, 100 Ghost Street is practically a clone of Grave Encounters, but with less concept, less story, and less horror. If you love the genre, this might be worth your time; if you're tired of the genre, this will likely be exhausting.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and gore, some (ghost) sex and nudity.

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