Inspired by both H.P. Lovecraft's short story From Beyond as well as the 1980s shlock cult adaptation directed by Stuart Gordon, Banshee Chapter takes the basic concept while acknowledging Lovecraft's story in the dialogue and tells the tale of a journalist looking for a close friend from college after he mysteriously disappears shortly after taking an experimental drug secretly used on MKUltra tests subjects that he wishes to write a novel about. Her search leads her to the home of a counter culture maverick author who may have provided the drug for her friend to experiment with. Not long after arriving at his home, they both experience strange phenomena and otherworldly creatures that appear to be aware of them. The search culminates at the site of the experiments where they make contact with extra-dimensional beings.
The film was produced by Actor Zachary Quinto and stars Michael McMillan, Katia Winter, Ted Levine, and Jenny Gabrielle. While this is a "found footage" film, I found the story to be both scary with some nice make your heart jump in your chest moments and some creepy scenes where what you don't see is just as frightening as what you do and the film does give enough reasonable clips of the creatures, which are sentient and malevolent. Basically I was left wanting to know more and at the same time feeling satisfied with what I did see since to have the alien agenda completely explained in a film like this would spoil the imaginative horror in one's mind that can never be matched by any concrete reasoning or full disclosure. I found myself completely sympathetic with the lead in the film too. In one scene, after revealing the truth of what she discovered she adds that she wishes she didn't know. After seeing this film you will concur with her. Everyone in the film delivers competent performances and the story for the most part holds together well though after some scrutiny you may find yourself going over the events of the film in your mind trying to figure out at what point did certain things occur, which I cannot divulge due to spoilers, to carry the action through to it's conclusion.
A neat indie Sci-Fi Horror Chiller, Banshee Chapter is playing in select theaters now or can be rented through video on demand services like iTunes. A DVD video release is due to follow tentatively in February.
(C) Copyright 2014 By Mark Rivera
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