I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I never get tired of the found-footage horror sub-genre. Granted, I’ve seen some stinkers over the years, but for the most part the found-footage category has treated me fairly well. Full Moon’s recent venture into this reinvigorated area is REEL EVIL, a nice little fright-flick that is well done and serves up the scares by the bucketful.
If you are not familiar with REEL EVIL, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the Full Moon website:
Struggling filmmakers – Kennedy, Cory and James – finally catch the break they were looking for when they are hired to shoot a ‘behind-the-scenes’ documentary for a major studio production. But their dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when they explore the legendary, haunted location and find something far worse than anything Hollywood could create. Terror becomes reality for the filmmakers as they uncover the malevolent secrets of the hospital, and the sinister doctor who once ran it. Trapped inside the hospital with no apparent way out, our crew is tormented by the evil, unspeakable fear.
This film impresses me on several levels. It looks good overall, the acting is top notch, the special effects rock, and even the gore is impressive. In short, it is a very entertaining thrill ride.
Probably the most excellent aspect of REEL EVIL are the scares. I actually jumped a couple of times when creepy things happened in unexpected places. The film does a great job of setting up what you think will be a scare…but then nothing happens; and then, when your guard is down later on, something happens that surprises you and makes you spill your popcorn. THIS is a great example of how a horror movie is supposed to make you feel.
The special effects are nice as well, with lots of creepy and disturbing imagery. Some of the elements involved with the ghosts are probably done by CG, but you would never know that by looking at them onscreen; they are seamlessly integrated into the picture and look amazing.
REEL EVIL is not perfect however; my sole and biggest complaint about the film is the lack of explanation as to why these events are happening. There are several things I have to assume, but even they don’t fully explain what’s going on. Big spoiler here, but I also question what the tentacled ‘things’ were that were pulling the victims into doorways and what-not?
I’m probably looking too deeply into the film and I should just enjoy it for what it is: a first-rate fright-fest that delivers the goods. I give REEL EVIL and thumbs up and recommend checking it out. It’s best to watch at night, in the dark, with the surround-sound cranked up for the full experience. But however you watch it, give it a look for sure.