|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
where to start? Matt Busch is a great talented graphic artist...
period. He should stay the HELL away from attempting to write, star,
and direct any films in the future. If you can put up with the first 10
minutes of the movie listening to Matt kiss his own butt and drone on
and on about what a great talent he is and how he is shaking the
entertainment industry and turning it on it's head... then maybe you
will be able to stomach at least 15 minutes of the rest of the film
WITHOUT fast forwarding (which is what I did). The story was hum-drum.
The acting was waaaaaaaay below par. The effects... what effects? The
scares... what scares? This is supposed to be a horror movie, not a
comedy (which by the 1 hour mark is literally not taking itself
seriously... I kid you not... I am not bagging on it at this point...
it really is making fun of itself). The whole plot was a train wreck
LITERALLY filmed on a home video camera. Do yourself a favor and rent
this one (DO NOT buy it, like I did from the bargain bin at Kmart) and
watch it... if you must... only for the beauty that is Sarah Wilkinson.
She was the ONLY saving grace to this goulash of a film.
p.s. Anthony Daniels ISN'T in the movie... he is shown meeting Matt at a comic book convention in the opening self love rhetoric of Matt's AND they spell C-3PO wrong in the closing credits!!!! UGH!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Star Wars," "The Crow" and "Lord of the Rings" artist Busch branches out with this low-budget, independent horror film in which he and his model/actress girlfriend Wilkinson play themselves. After an introduction that probably gives us far more background info on himself than was necessary, we learn that Busch's high profile pop-culture illustration career is starting to sap his personal creativity. He sets out to create a project that's more satisfying to him, and ends up in the local cemetery. There, he finds a photograph of a Spanish-style castle propped up against a tombstone. He brings it home, deciding to paint the castle, and immediately immerses himself in the project. Of course, this means he virtually ignores Sarah, who is a bit too nonchalant over things like water bottles, wine glasses, and candles that suddenly start moving by themselves. Matt starts sketching ghosts that he imagines inhabiting the castle in some remote, South American jungle, and he becomes obsessed with the project's dark, eerie intensity. That night, their burglar alarm's motion detector goes off, and Matt finds his art supplies laid out in a vaguely supernatural pattern -- one he's already sketched -- on the floor. The next day, while working on the painting, he and Sarah are subjected to some poltergeist activity before being somehow transported to the castle in his painting. With no memory of how they got there, or even where the castle actually is, Matt starts exploring the large, seemingly empty house. There are many familiar items from his sketches, which doesn't seem to phase him at all. Sarah, spooked by the house, waits outside, but is soon spooked by what appears to be a mild breeze that has access to a Shaky-cam. She runs back inside, finding a large crate that's making noises. Inside it, she and Matt find what appears to be the wrapped body of a young woman. There's no sign of a phone, a radio, or any communications device, and the house appears to be in the middle of an impenetrable jungle. Plus, Matt shows Sarah the basement, where his painting of the house rests. Matt decides they should just stay put and hope that the owners come home soon. But that night, Sarah is awakened by chanting from the basement, and when they try to leave the house, they find themselves locked inside! They must solve the riddle of the castle -- did Matt somehow create it from his imagination, or did this place connect to his inner darkness? After several encounters with the spirits from Matt's sketches, they come to realize their only way out of the castle is for Matt to finish the painting. As he uses colored pencils found on the basement floor to complete it, the spirits seem to close in. Finished, they are transported back to Matt's studio in their home. But, each now sports a tattoo on their arm of the symbol drawn in blood on the walls of the castle's basement. And, it seems they didn't return home alone, as the spirits from the sketches now inhabit the house, and seem intent on destroying them both. Busch has crafted an ambitious ghost story that's intensely personal, but ultimately suffers from the weakness of his and Wilkinson's performances. The ghostly effects work well, but when they try for even the simplest stunt work, it looks either fake or comical. Plus, you never really get the feeling that either of them is in peril, and Sarah's split-second acceptance that they've somehow been transported through time and space is absurd. Busch borrows elements from "Evil Dead," "The Blair Witch Project," and other, derivative horror films; sometimes effectively, and sometimes not. The castle location is quaint and quite charming, but it never really evokes a true sense of dread, no matter how many skulls or 3-D images of Jesus they toss around the interior. Obviously, a lot of effort went into "Conjure," and there's a few moments of intensity on screen, but nothing that's sustained for its entire length. The pacing is erratic, as scenes either whiz by, or drag on with a numbing ineptitude. Busch should definitely leave the acting to the professionals, as he comes across wooden in some scenes, and whiny in others. Wilkinson would greatly benefit from acting lessons, though, because the camera really loves her, and she has a few effective on-screen moments. Ultimately, you feel that, somewhere in Conjure, there's a really good chiller trying to escape the inexperience of its director. In the DVD extra's "Making of " featurette, Busch as much as admits that he cobbled the plot together as he went along, taking advantage of a Christmas trip to the castle location which is actually in North Hollywood, CA. Other bonus features include deleted scenes, an alternate ending, the Conjure premiere, bloopers and outtakes, an interactive sketch book, trailers, and animatics for Busch's next project, "Crisis."
don't believe these reviews ? plunk down your money, and watch one of
the trailers - you'll be digging for the receipt before it's
not even Middle School children, armed with their parent's camcorder and no script, would waste my time with 90 non-stop minutes of non-entertainment like this
the story idea seemed like a fairly interesting one - did they storyboard this at all ? the ten minute back-story documentary was uninspired and excessive ( just tell me he's an established illustrator - i'll get it ). did they consider getting talented local actors ? sure, other movies have non-actors delivering lines as if they were channeling a frustrated script writer from beyond the grave, but really ... these are not talented actors delivering performances intended to be reflections of bad actors : these really are untalented actors, apparently just off the street ( this would be my conclusion if not for the endless self-referential credits ), who never once hit the mark of believability
take it from someone who loves bad movies, the credit from Horror Channel Dot Com, printed on the front of the keep case said it all : "Busch's directorial debut is a 10-ton atom bomb" not just a bomb, but an ATOM bomb!
ignore this at your own peril
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don't let 'em fool you, this is a bit of low-budget fun and horror. The picture starts with some "backstory", true-life autobiographical documentary about hard-working artist Matt and his very cool girlfriend, Sarah. They are about to enter the realm of the supernatural as weird and horrible creepyness attacks via his art. Naturally the ways of the other-worldly influences at work are not our ways, so there is no need to try and explain what, exactly, or why. Matt has turned modern inexpensive technology and his love of weird story telling with images to good advantage here. Not too seriously, of course, but with a sense of immediacy that makes it all just real enough to be a bit scary. Maybe a good choice to show your hipper-than-thou pals who insist on laughing at everything to avoid looking scared. Also OK for children who like to be scared. So anyway, Matt is walking in the cemetery one day in search of his darker self when he finds a little photographic print among the snow-covered monuments. His gal-pal knows he is a freaky kind of guy so she is totally unconcerned when he begins working for days on a painting based closely on the picture, seemingly of a strange looking old house. This action opens the door to supernatural forces they cannot understand or control. Weird things start happening around the house they share and it just escalates until they are transported mysteriously to the house in the picture... and are trapped there with mysterious ghoulish creatures that are attempting to destroy them! What happens next is too horrible to describe, unless the ridiculousness of the situation makes you laugh. Matt gives you space and opportunity to laugh along with his crazily productive imagination, so it's no problem. WARNING: Will make you want to go and make your own movie to get in on the fun! Beware.
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