” is an effectively creepy horror-mystery whose journalist heroine tries to find out what happened to a friend — one last seen ingesting “an enhanced form of a rare contraband chemical” associated with murky government drug experiments. Loosely inspired by the U.S. government’s actual secret MKUltra program, and by Lovecraft’s short story “From Beyond
” (both referenced upfront onscreen), writer-director Blair Erickson
’s debut feature peppers its atmosphere of dread with decent “gotcha!” scares. It also makes good use of the otherwise overexposed found-footage device, despite some questionable fudging between those passages and what we’re supposedly seeing in real time. A limited theatrical bow Jan. 10 follows last month’s VOD launch, with DVD release set for Feb. 4. Horror fans should make this low-budget indie a modest sleeper success in various formats.
Things start off with a mix of actual archival news footage and fictive interviews suggesting the long-term ill effects from U.