Directed by Adam Robitel
Distributed by Millennium
Over the last several years we’ve been absolutely inundated with films about possession, ghosts, and demons. The latest one to come our way, The Taking of Deborah Logan, stands out among them as something a bit special. This isn’t your average demon or ghost on the loose found footage flick, though it is shot in the horridly overdone documentary style we’ve all grown extremely bored with. Thankfully this one rises above for the most part.
We’re introduced to Mia Medina (Ang), a student who, along with her cohorts, is shooting a documentary Ph.D. thesis film on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Their subject is Deborah Logan (Larson) and her struggling daughter, Sarah (Ramsay). Deb has just been diagnosed with exhibiting early signs of the debilitating disease, and she’s the perfect candidate to study. There’s just one small problem: Alzheimer’s isn’t all that’s affecting Deborah. She’s also host to the spirit of a vengeful serial killer searching for immortality.
Possessions are said to occur mostly in those in a weakened state of mind so it makes a lot of sense that an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s would become the perfect victim for a nefarious thing to have its way with, and have its way it does. As Logan, Larson turns in an absolutely fearless performance that you have to admire. This lady is willing to go as far as it takes to make this film scary and memorable, and it shows. There are parts of this flick that are genuinely disturbing and frightening. The combination of the realistic symptoms of the disease and the extraordinary horrors Logan experiences makes for a great creepy cocktail, but unfortunately around the third act The Taking of Deborah Logan ditches whatever feeling of realism it had going for it and settles for some tried and true cliches, which really brings the experience down a notch.
Our group – of course – keeps on filming and for whatever reason avoids turning the lights on in Deborah’s house whenever they can. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but when disembodied growling and voices are being heard in the dark, the first thing I look to do is turn on a fucking lamp. They also do little things like not immediately call the police when shocking evidence of a known crime turns up, and you just cannot help but yell at the screen or be a little irritated. Still, if you can overlook these few things, the film delivers on the scares in the most odd and unexpected ways, and by the time the credits rolled, I found myself pretty satisfied.
Director Adam Robitel displays a true eye for storytelling, and something tells me the more this cat keeps at it, the better and spookier things are gonna get for our genre. Keep an eye on him, fiends.
In terms of special features we get The Making of The Taking of Deborah Logan, which features soundbites with Jill Larson, Michelle Ang, Anne Ramsay, Brett Gentile, Jeremy DeCarlos, and Adam Robitel and is pretty entertaining in and of itself. A commentary would have been nice, but hey… sometimes you just gotta take what you can get.
If you’re looking for a spooky little film that’s free of pretension and sometimes logic and are into getting some quick shivers, you really cannot go wrong with The Taking of Deborah Logan. Those hoping for a meatier, more cerebral experience will need to keep looking for something a bit more substantial.
- The Making of The Taking of Deborah Logan featurette