Friday, December 12, 2014

"The Banshee Chapter" by Andreas Weidinger

Andreas Weidinger's score for Blair Erickson's riveting horror thriller "The Banshee Chapter" contains some very well executed sound design. Weidinger does an excellent job creating an unsettling atmosphere that hangs around the periphery and provides great tension for the film's numerous scares. His impacts are perfectly timed with the picture to make you jump five feet out of your seat every time a new ghoul is suddenly revealed. Despite the fact that the film uses essentially the same device repeatedly to scare us, it somehow manages, or at least it did for me, to work every time.

In my opinion, found footage has reached its saturation point and is on its way out, but The Banshee Chapter uses it sparingly without relying too heavily on it for cheap thrills.

The underrated and always great Ted Levine (also a member of the excellent cast on the absorbing and highly recommended FX serial "The Bridge") plays an over the top character based on Hunter S. Thompson who provides some comic relief, and Michael McMillan does a great job in his role, (and - shameless self promotion warning - also plays the lead character in "Jon Davis Gets A Sex Robot" which I did some of the music for in this episode

I saw another review of the Banshee Chapter that said "you can't have the non-found-footage part be as wobbly as the found-footage parts." I don't see how that criticism holds up to scrutiny, because, why can't you? I don't understand that rule, or why critics make up arbitrary rules for films and never explain why it's necessary for anyone to ascribe to them.

It's a tight one hour and 30 minutes; it doesn't overstay its welcome, and is intriguing until the end. As with many high tech horror movies, one is probably best advised not to overthink things and just enjoy the ride.

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