The Banshee Chapter (2013) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Journalist Anne Roland explores the disturbing links behind her friend's sudden disappearance, an ominous government research chemical, and a disturbing radio broadcast of unknown origin. Runtime: 87 mins Release Date: 11 Dec 2013
Great Atmospheric Lovecraftian Horror. (by robhartjr)
I discovered this movie by chance. I was browsing a site that listed upcoming movies being released to DVD/Blu Ray. I saw this and it intrigued me. So I watched the trailer and was stoked to see the film. I read that it was loosely based on "From Beyond" by the great H.P. Lovecraft. That made me even more excited because I love the creeping terror of many Lovecraft works. I saw the low score on this site and that only slightly put me off. But I saw that the critics were giving the movie positive feedback, something that doesn't happen often in the horror genre. So the movie <more>
comes out and I buy it and wait till the night comes to watch it. Boy was this a horror gem. Plot Synopsis. The movie revolves around a journalist who discovers that her college friend has disappeared after taking a hallucinatory drug that the CIA used to experiment with on humans during the MKUltra project. After taking the drug a radio suddenly broadcasts a creepy numbers station signal of unknown origin before "something" comes and takes the person. She goes on a journey to figure out what happened and is joined along the way by a Hunter S. Thompson inspired character who uses the drug regularly. On the journey there are supernatural happenings and creepy CIA footage of patients from the MKUltra era. What the two discover is beyond belief and terrifying. The movie uses found footage sometimes, but don't be fooled. This is not a found footage movie. There are instances where the film cuts to creepy fake documentary footage as well. But for the most part, the movie is directed in a way that can best be described as a combination of traditional film making and found footage. The directing style for these scenes I speak of is masterful especially for the low budget. The darkness that filled the screen a lot got annoying at first, but it actually becomes another character in the movie. The scariest scenes are the scenes in the darkness that don't show the monster or only show slight glimpses of it. The creeping feeling one gets from these scenes is done so well. There are many jump scares. Even if you don't get a glimpse of the entity shown during some of the jump scares, they still work. Some are cheap scares, but most are clever and truly terrifying scares. The music was also perfectly done. Very eerie and sometimes relaxing to the point of utter creepiness. The numbers station broadcast that plays to warn you that the entity is coming is one of the creepiest and original horror movie ideas I've ever seen or heard. The sounds heard are just discomforting and well crafted. The acting is also terrific from everyone. This is a low budge movie, but there are some veteran actors such as Ted Levine who plays the crucial Hunter S. Thompson type character amazingly and humorously. Those don't recognize the name will know his face from "Silence of the Lambs" and his voice from the now classic horror movie "Joy Ride". For such a low budget virtually unknown movie, all the actors and actresses give great performances. I have to say again that the style of directing is so original and clever. Sometimes it gets annoying and maybe boring during the long shots, but the payoff is worth it. The night I first watched the movie, I actually dreamed of the events in the film happening to me and woke up feeling very creeped out. I don't have nightmares from horror movies often if ever. But this one made me close the closet door. This movie will stick with you. The images seen will keep some people up at night. The radio broadcast sound will dig deep. I can tell that this movie will slowly become the cult horror classic it is destined to be. The current score as I type this review is a 5.4 with only around 1,000 votes. I predict as the film finds its audience that throughout the years the score will make its way up to at least a 6 and if lucky enough maybe in the 7 out of 10 territory. I look forward to the work from this new director as he gets into slightly bigger budgeted films. I do have one complaint that many might also have with the DVD. If not watching on Netflix when it comes out there, many will probably be seeing this on DVD. But the problem I had was that there were no subtitles. I don't have trouble hearing, but some of the dialogue was hard to understand or hear clearly even when blown up to a high volume. But that is just a minor issue. So buy or rent this horror movie if you need a good creepy scare for the night that will stick with you. Just be prepared to pay attention because you could miss things if not!
This movie scared the s*** out of me!! (by bcheever)
I've been hearing about this movie for a while - it got a lot of positive attention on the festival circuit last year so it was nice to finally be able to watch it on VOD at my own home. It's a solid movie with some real gut-wrenching, nail-biting shocks. It takes a lot to shock me but this movie got to me.Also it's based on actual creepy phenomenon like the government's MK-ULTRA program, unexplained short-wave "numbers" stations, various goings on deep in the Black Rock desert etc etc. Although it's not perfect, I would rate it up there as one of the scariest <more>
Good Shocker, You will jump out of your seat (by LiamBlackburn)
Camera work is very good, for a found footage, very expertly done. Compared to the massive pile of shite I've just waded through on a horror review list, this is a pleasant surprise. The subject of DMT and MK Ultra is nouveau-cool these days, along with government cover- ups, etc. The believability of this is not an issue, drugs and the drug culture wet-blankets might rate this movie poorly, but it deserves to be viewed as a horror movie not a commentary on whether drugs are bad or not. Plus considering that the DMT in this is technically from a human source it is au natural any way hehe <more>
. But seriously, this is a great shocker, frightener, jump-out-of-your seater. Who cares about t the plot, all you know is there is "something coming for you" out of the dark, and it goes BUMP in the night.I recommend this to any VHS fans, or another great found-footage "The Lost Coast tapes Bigfoot " fans, that movie also has very poor ratings but it is a great movie, in fact one of my favs of all-time.
A Genuinely Creepy Film With An Original Premise (by derrickchow)
I just finished watching this film at the After Dark Film Festival in Toronto. I was impressed. It has a genuinely creepy atmosphere and well-earned jump scares that had me leaping out of my seat a few times. The film is an effective mix of traditional filmmaking,'found footage', and even actual documentary footage and news reels. This melding of fiction with 'faux-real' footage and factual footage was perfect given the subject matter which revolves around the real-life MKUltra 'mind control experiments' conducted by the CIA during the Cold War . The film also <more>
cleverly mixes in the genuinely creepy lore of shortwave 'numbers stations', resulting in a calling card for the film's villain which is flat-out *beep* scary. Speaking of the 'villain', I don't want to give away too much, but I wanted to congratulate the director for creating a 'Big Bad' that is unnervingly ambiguous and 'unknowable', both in terms of motivation and appearance. The performances are solid, and I particularly enjoyed the Hunter S. Thompson-esque character for the humour he brought to the proceedings. Tonally, this movie reminded me of the Mothman Prophecies and a lot of the better 'Creepypasta' stories from the internet. I give this a big thumbs up :
My Review Of "The Banshee Chapter" (by ASouthernHorrorFan)
"The Banshee Chapter" is a blend of found footage, and tradition filming styles that create a smooth, creepy visual horror story. The film is directed by Blair Erickson and stars Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillian, Jenny Gabrielle, William Sterchi, Alex Gianopoulos in mad science tale that is part urban legend, part Lovecraftian, centering around a journalist seeking answers to the disappearance of her college friend after an experiment goes terribly wrong. The story in "The Banshee Chapter" creates an almost instantly captivating tale around urban legends that <more>
arose after it was made public of the black ops experiments the Government implemented on citizens during the 60's and 70's using LSD. That is a conspiracy lore ideology that I find myself trolling the internet reading. This element weaves eerily effortlessly into the Lovecraft world of horror, particularly the story surrounding the scientist that creates an antenna that becomes a gateway between worlds ultimately allowing both sides to move between. "The Banshee Chapter" pushes out a dark, nightmare that stays serious, flows nicely, and maintains a chilling atmosphere from start to finish without becoming boring. The acting in this film is pretty stellar, not too melodramatic or forced but so polished that it just seems over-rehearsed. The transitions between the found footage scenes and the standard third person point-of-view are balanced and move smoothly without the effects being made into some big production. By which I mean the scenes move in and out without seeming pointless or just "stuck in" the film with no purpose other than to cash in on the "footage" craze. "The Banshee Chapter" takes the two styles and mixes them with ease which makes the film suspenseful and chilling. The direction and character development felt authentic and created an actual connection between me and the story, something that often times falls to the wayside in "found footage" driven films. The special effects and soundtrack in "The Banshee Chapter" both work nicely in creating a chilling, and entertaining atmosphere with moments that are gripping, and intense while feeling creepy as heck. The special effects are the usual gimmicks and tricks to create shock moments and suspense but the director maintains control of the elements so nothing looks cheap or pointless, or more importantly lacking in fright. I jumped several times while watching this movie. The soundtrack and sound effects create an overture to the creepy atmosphere that the acting and story develops, really pulling me into the complete story. Mostly instrumental with some vocal effects, the soundtrack is both timeless and powerful. "The Banshee Chapter" is a fun, fright-filled, horror story that I found to be true to the genre without seeming hokey.
Second best horror movie i have seen of the thousands i watch great suspense, original storyline, based loosely on true events, great acting, and horrifying entities with insanely creepy radio broadcast when they get near. all out one of my favorites, might re-watch, somewhat thick and murky plot. The only flaw. this was totally surpass-able because of the shear sense of being so involved in the action that even if you were confused the entertainment was still thrilling. I really felt the way the entities where hidden and not really revealed, or at least not revealed for long, added a <more>
eerie sense of mystery. DEFINITELY recommend watching this master piece if you can handle it and can keep up with a lightning fast plot.
Just watched this and was pleasantly surprised. Especially after seeing the IMDb page and checking out the HORRIBLE poster and low rating. Essentially a tale about government chemical mind control experiments, with a mix of a scary shortwave radio transmission and some super cool Lovecraftian elements a la From Beyond, it is done in a scary manner, with a mix of found footage, real and faked news clips, and sometimes just plain old standard filmed storytelling. The flashlight, a common horror cliché, is also used to great effect here. I can see some people not liking this one and it being a <more>
polarizing movie but I enjoyed it very much. It also boasts a great performance by Ted Levine, who freaked us out as Rusty Nail in "Joyride." This is the first scary movie I've seen in a while. The last thing I can say is it's a mix of originality, cliché, and "borrowing", but what movie today isn't?
Thoroughly enjoyed this experience. After seeing so much of the same repeated, weak attempts at true fear lately, it's wonderful to see a film that reaches back to the roots of horror. Lovecraft. How long has it been since someone has tapped into the original horror mythology? Back to classics like "From Beyond". It is such a joy in this day and age to encounter a filmmaker who respects the origins of great horror. On top of this, connecting the ancient evils with the modern terror of testing psychotropic drugs. And the clever connection to Hunter S. Thompson. Brilliant on so <more>
many levels. And, thankfully, a nice mix of reality TV and the best horror film scare techniques.
Very effective and chilling. Scared the living $h!t outta me! Very tense and believable... Rewatchability: Moderate Blu-ray: Good A:9 V:8 (by lathe-of-heaven)
I have never really been a fan of either Documentary or especially Found Footage Horror. But, the way this one builds the tension and suspense, it does the job just fine. I'm probably just a BIG P\/$$y, but quite honestly this scared the living $h!t right out of me into my pants probably more information than you wanted... Anyway, despite my usual antipathy for these kinds of films, once in a while one will come along that is very effective, and this is one of them. Coincidentally, I also recently watched a similar film called 'THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE' which also scared me <more>
$h!tless, but that one was much more heavily slanted toward the Paranormal than this one was.So, there really is not a whole lot to say about his particular Genre except whether it is done well or not. And, I can say that for me personally, I was absolutely RIVETED to the screen the entire time. There was NO down time on this one. And YES, there are numerous jump type scares, but with this kind of film, I think that it would be obvious that that comes with the territory. The point is whether the jump scares are done well, and they are indeed...My imagination is VERY sensitive, so maybe this film would be more intense for me than for others, I don't know. All I know is that by the end, I was frigg'n creeped out. So, what that means to me is that the primary elements that are vital to a film like this, namely the mood and atmosphere, are clearly effective and doing the good job that they are supposed to be doing. Like I said, this type of film is not my first choice. I tend to find the more Fantasy based, 'fun' type of Horror more enjoyable like 'NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET' or 'RE- ANIMATOR', for example But, this one seriously had me by the nuts and refused to let go...I would say that if you don't mind the Genre, and if have an active imagination like I do, and if you can REALLY get sucked into a story easily like I did with this one, then this movie should indeed scare you...