|Index||4 reviews in total|
The teenager Shelby Johnson is the daughter of Officer Dan Johnson and
best friend of her schoolmate Becca. One day, Becca proposes to Shelby
to build a spirit box and make a séance. They contact their former mate
Emily D'Angelo, who committed suicide in a lake, and she tells that she
was murdered but does not give the name of the killer. The two girls
investigate the case leaving Shelby's father Officer Dan Johnson upset.
Soon they find a suspect and Shelby has a great surprise.
"The Spirit Box" is maybe the best episode so far of Fear Itself, with a cast with Martin Donovan, Anna Kendrick and Mark Pellegrino. The creepy and tense story has a surprising plot point and a good conclusion. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "The Spirit Box"
Rob Schmidt, the man that gave us Wrong Turn and an episode in Masters of Horror gives us an episode in Fear Itself. The main actresses are Jessica Parker Kennedy, not known in the genre only for Decoys 2 but she gives a great performance. Also great is her opponent Anna Kendrick, better known for her part in all Twilight flicks. The storyline is very simple, being teenagers and bored they are searching for kick, it's Halloween so what could you better do than playing with an Ouija board. We all know by now what could happen by doing that and indeed a ghost appears. But for me this is the only episode so far were the use of the camera is done in an excellent way. Not the usual wide lens zoomed in to give a deformed creepy look, no frog shots, no, for example the way he filmed the swimming pool is excellent, it's all in blue and we know blue is the color that has the most difficulty to use due the appearance of noise. Very simple, watch some VHS and watch the color blue...back to the episode. Before you know it you are at the end of the episode. Even as there is no blood in it it is the suspense that makes it, and the simple shot at the stairs, won't spoil it, the focus on his face, well, that's creepy and well done. To conclude, here we have an example that you don't need blood to give it a horror feeling. Build your movie up towards the end. Okay, I admit, the real killer, easy to see who it is but still, this could almost equal, sigh, Masters of Horror.
Another example of an episode who forces a supernatural element just to
justify his presence in a so called horror series.
But, unlike the previous one, "Chance", here it works.
The director, Rob Schmidt, of "Wrong Turn" fame, makes an incredible job in generating suspense and trying to keep the final twist a surprise... And almost succeeds, because the end really is forced.
But the way until there goes on smoothly, with a nice cast and excellent camera work and cinematography; the close up on the professor after the stairs fall is really creepy.
With this one, the score of "Fear Itself" is Turds 6 x 5 OK episodes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Avid occult buff Shelby Johnson (a fine and appealing performance by Anna Kendrick) and her best gal pal Becca (an equally sturdy portrayal by Jessica Parker Kennedy) are a couple of high school students who receive an unexpected message from beyond the grave from a deceased classmate who claims she was murdered. Director Rob Schmidt, working from a tight and involving script by Joe Gangemi, relates the compelling story at a steady pace, does an ace job of creating and sustaining a spooky atmosphere, grounds the fantastic premise in a thoroughly believable small town suburban reality, delivers a few truly creepy visuals, and builds a considerable amount of tension. The sound acting from the bang up cast keeps everything humming: Kendrick and Kennedy both do sterling work in the lead roles, with able support from Martin Donovan as Shelby's concerned father Officer Dan Johnson and Mark Pellegrino as jovial gym teacher Mr. Parker. Moreover, not only does this episode have a nice central message about the need for closure, but also the surprise double twist ending is a real corker. Alwyn Kumst's crisp and lively cinematography provides an impressively polished look. The shivery score by Tobias Enhus does the spine-chilling trick. One of this show's strongest hours.
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