A reality television crew, whose show features stories about drug addicts, finds that their 16-year-old junkie for their latest episode might actually not be fighting addiction, but a demonic force gripping her soul.
On January 9, 2009, five college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later, all five students have simply vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence - until now.
Courtney S. Bunbury,
Patrick McCord doesn't accept the explanation of his sister's mysterious death as suicide, and instead teams up with a team of paranormal investigators to delve deeper into the inexplicable... See full summary »
In March of 2011, three filmmakers disappeared in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona while documenting their search for the Lost Dutchman mine. Their bodies were never found... but their camera was.
Ron Eagle D'Andre II,
Chris Shaw was an up and coming Internet sensation. In his videos he performed rituals he found on the web, testing their legitimacy in summoning spirits. His last video never got to be broadcast, until now. Chris films everything as he, his girlfriend Tara and their friends Brent, Lorraine and Nicole travel to Brent's holiday house nestled in the vast, isolated plains of rural Victoria. Once they arrive they prepare and perform the latest ritual Beckoning the Butcher, a mysterious invocation Chris found online, designed to entice a paranormal entity into this world. All who took part in the ritual that night went missing without a trace. The only clue for investigators was the found footage contained on Chris's camera. Unfortunately for all involved, the footage itself seemed to pose more questions than to provide answers. Using interviews from family members, detectives and psychics, along with Chris's footage, this film aims to piece together the events of that fateful night and ... Written by
Horror is no longer in the eye of the beholder, but digitally chronicled and fearfully observed such is the notion of the 'found footage horror' craze of the past decade that has already seen its fair share of terrifyingly inventive highs to eye-rolling lows, faster than any other sub-genre. Yet unlike the torture porn or neo-grindhouse subgenres, this has bred a whole new generation of talented filmmakers on a far more global scale; innovative in terms of methods of filming, centralized narrative, unexpected scares and all while on the lowest budget possible. It's main selling point. Australian filmmaker Dale Trott (A.K.A. Alexander) is no stranger to this and with Beckoning The Butcher (Interspliced Media's debut effort) he doesn't attempt to reinvent or outdo others but instead revel in a traditionalist approach to the archaic haunted house formula. As such, he succeeds in creating a well-written, character- driven, low budget thriller capitalizes on found footage's core principles.
In his latest escapade internet sensation and wannabe-ghost hunter, Chris Shaw (Damien E. Lipp), his girlfriend Tara (Stephanie Mauro), and their closest friends (Sophie Wright, Tilly Legge and Tristan Barr), venture to an isolated countryside property in order to conduct and document a supposed 'blood incantation' found only on the deepest, darkest underbelly of internet web forums. However the group's investigation into the ritual's legitimacy turns sinister as their bid for internet fame rapidly descends into a night of survival when they unknowingly summon forth a malevolent entity known simply as 'the Butcher'. When a low budget film is dipped in enough fright tactics and character development to warrant genuine concern for the welfare and survival of these doomed characters, you know you're in the hands of an incredibly adaptive filmmaker. The only setback for Beckoning The Butcher is guilt by association; the obligatory camera static, distorted sounds, visual trickery akin to that used in Paranormal Activity and the unavoidable comparisons to said franchise aside; however, these stylized motifs are used assuredly, yet as sparingly as possible, within the confines of cinematography. Trott is a triple threat serving as director, writer and editor who cunningly employs the use of the budgetary limitations to his advantage and infuses them into the film's aesthetics resulting in a psychologically effective chiller thus illuminating Trott's understanding of the cinematic mechanisms behind found-footage's two main staples; timing and execution. The two are enhanced and achieved by opting for far more traditional atmospheric scares à la the works of James Wan and Scott Derrickson, drawing out the anticipation during the relentless stalking of the hapless individuals desperate to outmanoeuvre the Butcher. From ominous beginning to blood curdling end, the symbiotic relationship between the performances and dilapidated property matches the intended psychological approach with vigour, as every faint creak and startling door slam is complimented by the deeply invested cast.
A cautionary ghost story for the digital age, Dale Trott's surprisingly cerebral and refined supernatural thriller Beckoning The Butcher is a must see hidden gem for genre fans, especially those of the 'sceptical-till-proven-scared senseless' demographic. Trott's focused screenplay and tight direction intersected with his even tighter editing skills and outstanding sense of timing, boasts an air-tight sense of assertive control and confidence serving as an example for any aspiring filmmaker interested in this sub-genre. Technically proficient the film never forgets to have fun with the standard horror formula, especially during the chilling final act.
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