I’m not usually the biggest supporter of found-footage films but there is a case to be mad when it’s used effectively in a film like this.
The Taking of Deborah Logan is a fictional documentary that follows Deborah, played by Jill Larson, and her daughter Sarah Logan, played by Anne Ramsay. College students Mia, Gavin and Luis are documenting Deborah’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease for a school project.
At first, Deborah isn’t OK with being filmed but Sarah reminds her about the money so that they can keep the house.
Little do we know that Deborah is being entrapped into some sinister happenings. As her condition worsens, she becomes violent, agitated and even threatens to kill the people around her.
Once Deborah is inserted into the hospital, all hell breaks loose and we have a terrifying horror film.
Now, this isn’t a groundbreaking film by any standard nor is it gonna go down in horror lore, but this is a film that succeeds in scaring the audience. There’s great buildups, suspense and the sound design is excellent, specifically from the noise that an old switchboard makes.
Larson is fantastic as Deborah. It helps to have some great makeup design for your character but you can feel the struggle she goes through minute-to-minute as a character suffering from this awful disease.
Something that bothered me throughout the film was the character of Mia, played my Michelle Ang. She is a New Zealander but has to pull off a United States accent for this role and, at points, you notice that struggles to pronounce some words that make her fall back to her natural voice. It’s just something I nitpick because I don’t know why actors are forced into different accents unless your film is designed specifically for a period piece or it’s aimed toward a specific country. The U.S. doesn’t have one accent, so it doesn’t make sense to have a non-U.S. citizen try to pull off an artificial accent.
Of course, this movie has some pretty silly moments that bring it down. There’s this ridiculous scene in the hospital where Deborah’s closest friend is trying to kill her, per her request, and the entire hospital room shakes and a TV flies into this friend, killing him. It’s stupid and will take you out of a film that was really gripping for the first half-hour. Unfortunately, those scenes occur more as the movie winds down.
This film is going to divide audiences who still haven’t seen it yet. It’s not great but not terrible. There are some truly effective and terrifying scenes but the movie, overall, is bogged down by ludicrous ideas that take any sense of reality out of the story.
26 down, 5 to go.