The Horror Honeys: Found footage at its… better?

Found footage at its… better?

A Supernatural Honey Semi-Positive Review by Suzanne

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

I’ve made my stance on “found footage” films quite clear. I have no use for shaky camera work, which ultimately triggers a migraine. Still, trying to stay in the now, I watched The Taking of Deborah Logan and, surprisingly, did not need to take my prescription meds upon completion. 

A 3 person film crew has been given permission to interview Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) for a documentary about Alzheimer’s disease. Deborah’s daughter, Sarah (Anne Ramsay), is the primary caregiver and in need of the grant money to save the family home. Initially, things go more or less as planned until Deborah begins to exhibit behavior of a supernatural and violent nature. A decades old Satanic ritual and Deborah’s involvement may be the root cause. Can they stop the evil before it takes all of them?

If you’re a fan of Insidious and The Conjuring, I guarantee you’ll probably dig this. It’s a predictable formula with plenty of jump scares. So why don’t I hate it?

First, Deborah Logan is a truly sympathetic character. If you’ve ever experienced a grandparent or parent slowly deteriorate from Alzheimer’s, you understand how utterly devastating it is and the physical toll it takes on the patient and the family. That is played out believably here. Larson does such a great job of acting vibrant and eloquent one moment and helpless in the next. The transformation makeup done on her was really fantastic as well.

Ramsay is also wonderful as the desperate caregiver, Sarah. The mother/daughter backstory was compelling as we discover Sarah was raised by Deborah alone after the untimely death of her father. While they had a close bond, Deborah suddenly sent Sarah off to boarding school. Sarah attributed this to her mother not being able to handle Sarah’s sexuality and it destroyed the close relationship. As we find out, Deborah had a totally different reason for sending Sarah away.

The camera work was also pretty decent as a lot of it was static for the interviews. There were also static cameras set up throughout the house and security film footage from the hospital. Of course, no found footage film is complete without the obligatory running shots and moments of darkness when the camera lights mysteriously go out, but those were mostly during the last 15 minutes of the film.
The setting of the film is mostly within the house or on the grounds, which helps to maximize the intimacy and minimize the confusion. The house is really huge and there is an uncomfortable running joke about how many attics they have.

What I didn’t care for was the painfully overused story of an evil child killer, come back from the grave to claim his last victim via possession. Been there, done that, have several t-shirts. I also didn’t care for the “twist” ending that was so expected, I wanted to punch myself. You see it coming, but you hope they are really going to go there, but then they go there and all you can say is, “sonofabitch!”

Did this movie make me rethink my stance on found footage? Absolutely not. However, I wasn’t left with a nasty taste in my mouth or a headache so I guess that’s a win of sorts. I was totally into it during the first two acts, but the third act is where its predictability and shaky cam became too much to ignore.

Supernatural Honey verdict: 2.5 crazy old ladies out of 5