Friday, January 10, 2014

The Banshee Chapter

Director - Blair Erickson
Writer - Blair Erickson, Daniel Healy (story)
Stars - Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillian
Horror - Thriller
4.5 Out of 5


James Hirsch acquires a mysterious drug from "Friends in Colorado" for investigative purposes for his new book. To aid in his experiment, Michael has enlisted the assistance of friend, Renny Seegan to video Michael ingesting the drug. Moments after Michael hears music that only he can hear and he races outside his home with Renny on fast on his heels and then...seriously, did you seriously think I would tell you? Get real, I want you to see this film.

Fast forward past Michael's experiment,  a journalist Anne Roland has begun her own investigation into the disappearance of her friend from college. She tracks down a writer the notorious Thomas Blackburn. She misrepresents herself and gets an invite to Blackburn's home. Once there after meeting friend of Blackburn, Anne is tricked into ingesting the same mysterious drug. Strange occurrences within the home drive Anne and Blackburn to flee.  

Time spent with Blackburn helps Anne to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together, but will she find her friend? Will she gain insight into the mysterious drug and find out its origins? To answer these questions, you are just going to have to see it for yourself. Available from XLRator Media on VOD and i-tunes January 10, 2014. This is the first film of 2014 that I can honestly say was worth the wait. I saw the trailer for it a couple of months ago and was delighted when I was able to acquire a screen from XLRator Media. 

Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs) who plays Thomas Blackburn is awesome. He is sarcastic in a playful cynical way and stole every scene he was in. He was my favorite character. At one point he is in back seat of his car and says, "It's 2:15 am, my eyes are bleeding, can we go home." He was tossing out some really comical lines. 

Having Michael McMillian cast as James Hirsch was a plus. The last I saw of him was as corrupt preacher turned fanger in HBO's 'True Blood' series. Although he was not in the film overly long, and to my dismay, he did leave a lasting impression that will have some of you jumping in your seats. 

Anne Roland was played by Katia Winter and I enjoyed her performance. She was personable and determined to figure out the whereabouts of her friend who had disappeared. There was a scene at the end that brought a tear to my eye. I thought this actress did a very good job working opposite Ted Levine. He is still my favorite character but Katia gave him a run for my attention. Fans of the hit television show, Sleepy Hollow may recognize Katia as she plays Katrina Crane on the show. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. At times it lacked a little substance and left you scratching your head, but also, if viewer pays attention to Thomas Blackburn he explains what's going on through the telling of a Lovecraft story. If not exactly what's going on but has a strong semblance to the happenings in the film. Fans of X-Files and The Fringe may enjoy the science fiction/horror feel to this creepy mind-bender. It has a few well placed jump scares and it takes fact and the meshing of fiction rending it believable and it also does justice to found-footage and documentary typed made films. Great special effects make-up and the sound effects were weird and creepy.  It is a must-see for early 2014. It's coming to DVD soon but as stated above, it is currently available on VOD and is so worth whatever price to see it. I am giving The Banshee Chapter 4.5 Out of 5 and it will be on my 2014 Fave Films list. 

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