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.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
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
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February 07, 2015 at 09:23 AM