An elderly woman battling Alzheimer's disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.An elderly woman battling Alzheimer's disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.An elderly woman battling Alzheimer's disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.
Let me say right off the bat, the acting in this movie is very good. Well above average for a horror movie, and it almost gave me a Babadook vibe because its about a woman dealing with something difficult and her slow descent into madness. Both movies feel more like character studies rather than flat out scary movies, mainly because the leading women are so convincing and terrifying in their roles. Sarah was also very believable as Deborah's daughter doing everything she can to keep her own sanity while dealing with her mom's deteriorating condition. That's the main thing when it comes down to found footage horror: Whether the found-footage feels like a gimmick or not. And in this movie it doesn't. They set this thing up like a documentary. There are even a few medical scenes that explain the effects of the disease and how it affects the brain which I thought was a nice touch.
Like I said, this is a creepy movie. It's very slow paced like most found-footage movies but the exposition is well done and interesting, and actually gets us to know the family and how they operate so we can really be affected when things start going downhill. Even before the supernatural factors start coming in, there's an ominous aura to this movie, tonally, it's just very down-to-earth which makes it feel like you're actually there, which in turn makes it that much creepier. So the movie nailed it on that front. Then when the supernatural stuff does come in, it gets even weirder and a few scenes get really intense. Some shots are extremely quiet and scary and you think a jump scare is about to happen any second but... then... nope, next scene. And I love that, because the anticipation and tension from that shot still lingers into the next, and then the next, until you feel it's going to explode at any minute. It's very well directed in that respect.
That being said, there are cheap jump scares. There are some really cheesy ones with amazing build ups that have really LOUD sound effects to try to make you jump but just leave you like "eh, that could've been a lot better". But some scares actually pay off mainly near the end of the film and those are worth waiting for. There's also a lot of creepy imagery. Like, borderline disturbing imagery, because you believe this woman is doing these things and it's hard to watch, but in a good horror movie edge-of-your-seat kind of way. I really liked the tone of this movie, and I loved how they tied the disease with the supernatural stuff seamlessly. And there aren't that many dull spots in the movie - there's always something creepy going on whether in the foreground or background that keeps you on your toes.
In short, The Taking is an effective found-footage movie. The atmosphere is unnerving as hell, the acting is great, and it definitely creeped me out which is all I can ask for in a horror movie. Definitely worth a watch if you're a fan of the genre.
- May 19, 2015