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Belittling Horror Excessively: Banshee Chapter02:47 AM -- Thu October 30, 2014

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is not a found-footage movie, though it strangely pretends to be. Everything is shot handheld, or occasionally a security camera or something, but the cameraman isn't a character in the movie and you never see him. That just sort of makes it a cheaply made movie, really. But it's the story of a woman investigating what happened on some actual found footage (the first bit of the movie), when her friend takes a mysterious drug and shortly after that disappears, with a lot of weird stuff going on. She ends up learning about a government conspiracy to give people this drug and experiment on them. Bad trips ensue.

This movie is pure Lovecraft, and a character actually calls out the story it's sort of based on at one point (I forget the name, but it's a famous one about a guy who makes a radio device that tunes into another dimension and lets the things in that dimension see him and get him). Which is probably a little tacky, but it was about 2 minutes after I said to myself "This is a Lovecraft story!"

It also pulls in the mythology, if you can call it that, of "numbers stations". I happen to have just recently learned about those thanks to Stuff You Should Know. It's some really weird stuff. There are (in real life!) these shortwave radio stations scattered around the world which are transmitting robotic voices saying series of numbers. The speculation, which makes sense to me, is that these are actually sending coded messages for spies. If you tune in at the right time, and have the magic decoder ring, you can turn the numbers into a message. The rest of the time, the numbers are just random, so your enemies will never break the code since they don't even know when they are hearing a coded message or just noise. The numbers only play for a certain time period each day, and they are always preceded by a specific sound recording to indicate the start, and that makes it even creepier. The weird creepy music that pours out of random radios in this movie is a recording of an actual numbers station. The gist of this movie is to give an alternate, and completely crazy, explanation of the numbers stations (and of the CIA's MK-Ultra program, which was about trying to mind control people with drugs). Aliens, of course. DUH.

This movie (so far) wins the Scariest Of The Month award. Some good jumps, some really disturbing (not gross!) images, and a very creepy overall feeling, the kind that leaves me nervous to go outside in the dark to put my dogs to bed. I must confess that I had subtitles turned on, as I usually do, and for some reason, the subtitles started getting ahead of the movie as it went on. Rather than get up and fix it, I took advantage of it to make the movie less scary. When somebody was wandering in the dark with a flashlight, I could see "[Aaaah! What is that!]" on the screen a couple seconds earlier, so I didn't get anywhere near the jumps I deserved. Whatever, I use the tools at my disposal to protect myself! Speaking of scares, the first one in the movie is almost identical to the scariest moment in the movie Signs. That one made me leap out of my chair in the theater, I tell you what.

So in the end, we have a very mysterious body count: I wrote down 2 for sure, and a few more question marks, because there's really no way to know when or if the characters actually died. I guess that's part of the horror. I award this movie a grand 4 out of 5 Primary Sources. It's a good 'un!

This time, I thought I'd try doing something with a lot of ink, but I don't have any reasonably fat pens, so it's a weeeee bit scribbly. This picture is actually a little creepier than what it's supposed to be. That isn't some horrible dessicated corpse, it's actually a regular person - the black holes in his face are just supposed to be shadow. He's strapped in a chair, in a pitch-black room, except for a spotlight aimed directly down at him (it's also showing the edge of a table next to him). Pretty much a failure.
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