An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
BANSHEE CHAPTER follows investigative journalist, ANNA, researching a missing friend who ingested an undocumented research chemical once tested on civilians by CIA MK-Ultra experiments. The labyrinthine trail of evidence leads her into the disturbing world of black ops chemical tests, unexplained radio transmissions and disfigured entities in the blackness of night. Anna will do anything to uncover what lies behind her friend's disappearance but to her horror the entities are coming after her. Suspense-thriller based on true events shot in stereoscopic 3D staring Katia Winter and Ted Levine Written by
If nothing else, The Banshee Chapter proves that jump scares can still be... scary.
I'm not a fan of jump scares. I think they're cheap, sometimes manipulative, and they rarely imbue dread. Rather, they can ruin a movie's atmosphere if used incorrectly. Having said that, The Banshee Chapter has the best use of jump scares I've seen in a long, long time. You can sense them coming from a mile away, yet they can still make you crap your pants. I credit this to the director who clearly has a grasp on how to utilize atmosphere and build-ups effectively. These scares don't seem cheap; well, some of them do, but the tone is set by the creepy music, the static, and the robotic voices which really holds the movie together. And the imagery itself is creepy. If I saw one of those things near me, I would freak the f*** out too.
Now, you probably noticed by now that I haven't even hinted at a narrative in this movie, and that's because it's so flimsy it's hardly worth mentioning. It's basically about MK Ultra and the government testing drugs on people, then things start to go horribly wrong. The premise is good, but the actual story - the execution - is hollow and lazy. I didn't care what has happening half the time. I was too busy peeking through my eyes (kidding, but not really) waiting for the damn thing to come out from somewhere. Almost every scene is crafted this way - light on substance, heavy on scares.
Thankfully, horror is about the scares so I have to give The Banshee Chapter credit. Even though it stands for everything I hate in horror movies, this one actually gets it right, and for that alone, bravo.
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