The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Anaestheus, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I'd swear I read about this film here, but I couldn't find another thread. So, here's a quick review and moderate recommendation.

    "The Taking of Deborah Logan" starts as a documentary about Deborah Logan and her daughter Sarah. Deborah is afflicted with Alzheimer's and a small documentary crew set about to tell the story of how the disease affects both the afflicted and those who are connected to her. But, as the film progresses, it becomes apparent that there may actually be a more sinister cause to the elderly woman's symptoms.

    Mild Spoilers Below

    As the film goes on, it becomes apparent that Deborah is actually being possessed by a malevolent spirit. And it is up to her daughter and the film crew to uncover the truth as Deborah's behavior becomes more dangerous to herself and others

    Stylistically the film is presented as a combination of documentary and found footage. It certainly owes a huge debt to "Blair Witch Project" but it manages to stand out as more than just a clone or rip off.

    One of the main strengths of the film are the performances, particularly Jill Larson as the title character who really holds nothing back and creates a very sympathetic and frightening presence. The rest of the cast is pretty commendable and, for the most part, they avoid the whining that made the cast of BWP so irritating to some.

    The other strength of the film is the general premise. The subject of Alzheimer's makes a great foundation, giving a reason for the crew to be there in the first place and also a motivation for the skepticism. It's a pretty nicely handled act and makes for a very affecting first half.

    Unfortunately, the films drops a few notches once it hits full stride. While it's never bad or really even derivative, it does seem to lose the creative edge as it goes on. In some ways, it seems a bit inevitable, but there are shades of "Supernatural (TV)" and the inspiration of BWP becomes obvious as the film reaches its climax.

    That said, it does remain interesting and stands out as a little gem in a worn out sub-genre.

    Also of note is that most of the characters are women. With all the talk of the decline of good roles for women in Hollywood films, it's nice to be reminded that low budget horror, as much as it has been maligned (often inaccurately) for its sexism, has also long been ahead of the progressive curve.

    In the end, I'd still recommend the film primarily for the standout performance from the lead actress, the strength of the first half - which is really quite excellent, and for its ability to kick some energy into the tired genre of "found footage" films.

    The film can be found on Netflix.
     
  2. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    Well put. I also enjoyed it. You mentioned the areas where it's strengths lay. I don't know that I would be compelled to revisit it but maybe. I'm glad to see the creepy "shushing" lady from shutter island take centre stage. She is great to watch.

    I think they went to the, "Hey mom what are you doing? Lets get you back to b- RAWR!!!!!" jump-scare well too often. After a while it got annoying that they fell for that.
     

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