Banshee Chapter (DVD)

Cover art:


Banshee Chapter (DVD)Starring Katia Winter, Michael McMillian, Ted Levine

Directed by Blair Erickson

Distributed by XLrator Media

The ad campaign for Banshee Chapter is intriguing but misleading – with art looking more like an ad for “Bodies: The Exhibition” and screaming in text above the title that it’s brought to us by “Zachary Quinto and the producers of Margin Call and All Is Lost.” The movie is actually nothing more than yet another shaky-cam, low-budget flick that’s even more forgettable than most.

It starts off promisingly enough with clips from real-life scientists, politicians and pundits talking about a dangerous, mind-altering chemical once tested on civilians by the CIA in the early 1960s: the MK-Ultra experiments. Who isn’t fascinated by shocking true tales of government cover-ups and human guinea pigs?

So far, so good.

Cut to self-filmed footage of modern-day mad scientist James Hirsch (McMillian) doing research on himself with a swig of mysterious blue liquid that’s guaranteed to blow his mind. Down the hatch, and down the rabbit hole he goes… never to be seen again.

Luckily, James’ BFF is an investigative journalist. Not so lucky for us, she’s a clueless brunet who likes to wander around in the dark a lot brandishing a flashlight and listening to unexplained radio transmissions. Anne (Winter, “Sleepy Hollow”) eventually enlists the help of celebrity counterculture conspiracy nut Thomas Blackburn (Levine, “Monk”), and off the two go in search of her friend, his foes, and answers.

For good measure a ho-hum, convoluted collage of black ops, chemical experimentation and disfigured entities are thrown into the mix. Maybe you need to be on these drugs to follow the needlessly confusing plotting, or maybe it helps to have seen the movie as it was shot in stereoscopic 3D – but whatever the case, I just wasn’t feeling it on Banshee Chapter.

There is a “making-of” featurette with the standard “this is the most awesome, unique, cool and different movie you have ever seen!” type stuff from the producers, director and actors.

Special Features

  • Making-of Banshee Chapter


    1 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    1 out of 5

    Discuss Banshee Chapter in the comments section below!

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  • Staci Layne Wilson

    Get Your Box of Dread Now
    *US Residents Only .
    • erinwilson

      Does anyone on the Dread Central staff have any advice for how to get a job (doesn’t have to be paying) reviewing horror movies. I have had a passion for this genre for 20 yrs…closing in on 30 and really struggle finding good reviews and struggle even more finding good horror flicks. But one thing I do know…is that I can write a heck of a review. I know this genre very well and I think I could do a good job advising people whether or not a film is worth their time. The reason I put this on Staci’s review is because I have a great deal of respect for her reviews. Maybe she could guide me? In addition…why is it SO hard to meet anyone who appreciates horror like I do!

    • Uncle Creepy

      LOVED this. I mean LOVED it. Creepy as hell.

      • aliensharkboy

        Same here. I was surprised it lived up to the hype too!

        I watched it late at night, and 15 minutes into the movie I began contemplating the idea of turning it off because I was worried it would rob me of my sleep.

        Albeit the intrusive humour, thin characters and some parts of the story that I just didn’t buy into, it was still very, very scary stuff.

        The fact Staci gave Robocop some praise in her review, but none for Banshee Chapter just baffles me. O.o

    • justkillingtime

      Finally somebody who agrees with me. I really did not get all the raving reviews around respected horror websites (including this one) claiming this to be one of the scariest movie of the year.

      Boring and pointless if you ask me.

    • The Critic Man

      Really? I have heard such great things about this flick. Still interested in checking it out, but really hoping I enjoy it a little more than a 1/5 type film.

      • Debi Moore

        We do have a couple of other, much more positive reviews:

        There’s just no telling which side of the fence you might land on.

        • The Critic Man

          Interesting! Thank you for pointing them out! A 4/5 from one of those catches my interest even more, as these two reviews are so opposed. It will be exciting for me to see where I stand!

          • Debi Moore

            Yeah, I’m super curious about it as well, especially since Gareth, who’s one of our toughest critics, give it the highest rating.

    • argentleman

      Hate to be the one to point out the flaw with this review from the get go, but this one is pretty major: this film IS NOT found footage. It’s merely shot in a hand-held style and has a couple of small segments where characters are watching tapes shot by other people.

      As for the film itself, it’s far better than this review lets on. Nods to HP Lovecraft, genuinely creepy, quite good actually.

      • Uncle Creepy

        Noted and fixed.