One of the popular trends in modern American horror film, is also one of my least liked. The shaky camera, found footage/pseudo documentary horror film. I’ve seen a few of these, and have not been impressed by any of them, the exception being The Sacrament. When I sat down with The Taking Of Deborah Logan this past weekend, I didn’t have high expectations. I was expecting something along the lines of The Last Exorcism, or Paranormal Activity, two films I was certainly not impressed by. It seems many have tried to replicate the formula that The Blair witch Project used, with less than effective results. Much to my surprise however, this was a halfway decent effort, it certainly has its flaws, but almost every film does.
The film is about three documentary filmmakers, (original, no?) who are making a film about a woman named Deborah, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Her symptoms and actions she exhibits are somewhat expected, for someone suffering from the disease. Gradually however, her actions become more and more bizarre, and erratic. This leads members of the llm crew to wonder if something supernatural is the cause of all of this. This is a plot device I feel works rather well. Much like films such as Bug, and The Haunting, the lines of reality are blurred for the audience member. When you have someone suffering from a mental disease, it’s almost impossible to distinguish how much is real, and how much of it is just a product of their mental state. Is it possession, or is it dementia?
Her mental state, which is seen to be in a consistent state of degeneration, is matched by her physical deterioration. Another element this film does well, being psychological, as well as visual.
As far as the supernatural occurrences contained within the film, they are somewhat of a downgrade. Often times they feel like recycled, overdone and cliche from a lot of films of this type. A flying television set? I call shenanigans. Despite this, and the constant shaking camera, it all ties in together to help build a really suspenseful vibe. Once you get halfway through, you can’t help but be drawn in. The films third and final act, is where everything comes together. I wasn’t exactly sure where the director was going to take it, and I honestly feel it was fitting conclusion.
One of the better entries to this sub genre. I just hope future efforts of this type will finally have one thing. Someone who knows how to hold a hand held camera steady. It’s a horror film, not an episode of COPS.