28 June 2011
Outtake Reel 2011 - REVIEW
Not every horror filmmaker is out to scare you with oodles and gobs of blood and guts. Not every horror filmmaker throws in a gratuitous tit shot around every corner. And not every horror filmmaker relies on countless jump scares to horrify you. That being said... I am the "Gore Whore" so blood and guts is something I like and the gratuitous tit shot never bothered me either. But there's a time and a place for it. Take all three of these and put them together in the best film in the world and it's not gonna work if the timing is off or if it's just thrown in for the sake of soaking some tits in blood. I know you guys are there are cursing my name right about now but let it marinate for a bit and you'll see I'm right.
A series of documentary footage, audition reels and video diaries are compiled together to tell the story of Ashley Swan (Ava Santana) who takes a role in director Tom Grayson’s (Scott Feinblatt) latest horror film and becomes the victim of a horrendous crime. All caught on film, the events unfold to reveal the decisions and actions that lead to not just one but two chilling and brutal murders. All this being presented to the viewer as evidence in a murder trial. Most of the footage was shot by Danny Wilson (Jeffry Chaffin) as he followed the cast and crew around behind the scenes of the film within the film "My Brother's Keeper".
The acting is pretty solid all around. They do really great jobs and for the most part make acting look easy. They're believable in their roles. Santana plays the innocent and naive actress well but half way through, she transforms into Super Bitch, a petty, unlikable character that cares more about being “discovered” than anything else in life. Feinblatt plays the indie horror filmmaker who slowly goes off his rocker (Hmmm, does film mimic real life? Kidding Scott, you know I dig ya!). Before it's over with, you feel sorry for Feinblatt’s character. All he wants to do is make a horror film his way and nobody, I mean nobody is cooperating and helping him do that. His character may come off as an uptight asshole in the beginning but his descent into madness leaves you feeling like you just wanna give him a big hug. He’s burning out faster than he's filming and at some point, something’s gonna give. You don't see too much of Chaffin as he's mostly behind the camera but he gives a slam dunk performance himself. It's pretty amazing to me that all of them started the film with one personality and finished it up with a completely different one and it's not like you see in some films where one minute a character is normal then BOOM, psycho. No, it's a slow, burning transition that is done with ease. Oh and did I mention there are also special appearances by horror icons Tiffany Shepis and Lloyd Kaufman?? No? Well there are and they give great performances as well.
The film benefits from good writing and it's paced so that you're not flooded with pointless chatter and sub-plots. Yes, it's shot in a documentary style but it doesn't have the shaky Blair Witch Project camera so you don't have to worry about losing your lunch or dinner or breakfast... mmmm, bacon... sorry, got side tracked. Bacon will do that to you ya know? What I like about this film is that Feinblatt and Chaffin had an idea that was different and unique. Yes, the "found footage/documentary" thing has been done before but not in this way. Comparing this to other documentary style films is like saying Friday the 13th is a romantic comedy. If you get the chance, definitely see this one. It's horrifying without slamming you with disturbing images and blood soaked tits, a rarity in this genre.