Feed, The (2011)
Directed by Steven Gibson
For Steven Gibson’s debut feature The Feed, the up-and-coming director jumps on the trendy found ghost footage subgenre by modeling the film after the Syfy Channel’s wildly popular "Ghost Hunters" as we follow the live broadcast of the "Ghost Chasers" crew as they investigate the haunting of a restored classic cinema in Pennsylvania for their fourth anniversary show.
The Ghost Chasers are pretty much the typical cast you’d find on a cable reality ghost hunting show: the know-it-all leader, his level-headed female counterpart, the crazy weird psychic, a few lackeys that hang around to do all the grunt work and the wise tech-savvy veteran who has probably seen a "few things" in his day. We meet the Ghost Chasers as they arrive at the fictional theater called The Renway, and the cast of players take us through the theater's eerie history, from a fatal fire in the projection booth to a slaughtered family discovered years later to the recent sighting of a naked female hanging from the main lobby ceiling. All good stuff when you're looking to make a show about ghosts, right?
But once the broadcast begins and the team turn out the lights to start exploring the entire theater, that's when things start getting weird (much to our delight), and in between the insanely clever commercial breaks (including one that features Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman), the tension steadily builds in The Feed as the Ghost Chasers find more evidence of some rather active and pissed off ghosts in their midst, the movie (or show) culminating in an epic climax that will no doubt leave you feeling a bit rattled by the time the credits are rolling.
Made for a remarkable $15K, The Feed does an excellent job of recreating the spirit of supernaturally based reality shows, and Gibson really uses his budgetary limitations to work to his advantage here. There are no huge action sequences, no huge gore gags- everything in The Feed is about atmosphere and tension, and Gibson proves that he's got the talent to keep audiences riveted from start to finish.
The entire cast in The Feed has really solid chemistry together as well, especially Seth Drick as Ghost Chaser leader Todd and Brianna Healey as Amanda, although I wished Gibson had spent a little more time working in something that would give audiences a sense of just "who" we were watching hunt down apparitions; there's not much in the way of character development in The Feed, but with this kind of storytelling approach, it's not nearly as detrimental to be missing out on that component while trying to enjoy the overall flick. In fact, I'd love to see more from both the Ghost Chasers and Gibson as The Feed definitely leaves things open for more possibilities down the road.
The Feed is just downright fun and definitely is worth checking out if you're a fan of the ghost hunting shows that have been popping up on various cable networks over the last few years. With Gibson’s talent to evoke tension and atmosphere in almost every single scene, The Feed is one of the strongest indie horror films I've discovered this year and proves that you don't need a ton of money and gore to deliver great chills and scares.
The Feed is currently available for purchase directly from thefeedmovie.com, and for those of you ghost hunting show junkies out there, the film should not disappoint!