Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Movie Review: Reel Evil (2012)

Reel Evil
REEL EVIL - DVD Cover Image

Written by Shane Bitterling
Directed by Danny Draven

Kennedy...Jessica Morris
Cory...Kaiwi Lyman
James...Jeff Adler
Dirk Bailey...Michael Cline

A trio of documentary film makers accept a less-than-ideal job in order to pay the bills: shooting a behind-the-scenes making-of-documentary on the set of the latest horror picture from producer Dirk Bailey. In order to give the movie a little added production value, it's being filmed in an old mental asylum--one that is supposedly really haunted. If nothing else, it gives the documentarians something to explore when the rest of the cast and crew prove to be a bunch of uncooperative bastards.

REEL EVIL - the documentary crew

Kennedy, Cory and James wander into the darkened corridors with cameras running, hoping to capture a little haunting on film. They get a lot more than a little.

It's hard to believe that this was Full Moon's first stab at a found footage film. Full Moon being a lower-budgeted production house, and found footage being such an effective technique for disguising a low budget, it seems like a natural fit. But how well did they do with it?

I'm an unashamed fan of found footage and mockumentary films, as any readers of my blog surely know. I've seen a metric ton of them, and still haven't burned out...though there are more bad ones than there are good ones on the market. With Reel Evil, Full Moon has found a comfortable middle ground. It's not good, it's not bad...it is just okay, which is still a damn sight better than some.

REEL EVIL - Spooky ghost

Found footage fans may find the usual things to like here (POV shots making it easier to feel a part of the action) and the usual things to dislike (shaky-cam may upset the stomachs of those with delicate constitutions). Full Moon fans, though, may be disappointed by the fact that this doesn't feel in the least like a Full Moon movie--meaning there are no killer dolls or low-brow humor (the latter having become something of a fascination with them lately). I for one was glad for the change of pace, and although this won't make my theoretical list of Top Ten Best Found Footage Films, it certainly won't make my list of Top Ten Worst, either.

Not the best that the Full Moon catalog has to offer, but better than a lot of the slop they've been dishing out in recent years.

2012
Not Rated
Color
English
United States

--J/Metro

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