When I first read the plot synopsis for THE ASYLUM TAPES, I have to admit that I was not too interested. After all, the found-footage sub-genre is flooded with similar concepts. But I’m very glad I took a chance on this film because it is actually a unique and well-made jaunt into terror.
If you are not familiar with THE ASYLUM TAPES, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the Revolver press release:
When a group of young filmmakers visited an abandoned psychiatric hospital to investigate the rumors surrounding an institution infamous for its inhumane treatment of its patients and its use of invasive surgical procedures, they had no idea of the horror they would uncover. As their exploration took them deeper into the bowels of the building, they found themselves trapped by supernatural forces that had no intention of letting them escape. This is their footage. These are their final hours.
I did not realize this film was made by Oliver Stone’s son until I pulled it up on IMDB.com while writing my review. This explains where director Sean Stone gets some of his talent; I would wager that the filmmaking gene is almost hereditary in their family.
THE ASYLUM TAPES is shot well, or as well as can be expected when it comes to supposed found-footage. This means that the camera is shaky, but never to the point to where you can’t see what’s going on in the scene. This is a good thing, too, since the filming location has low light-levels in most of the shots.
The acting is also good, which makes this film even more enjoyable. As we all know, acting in these kinds of movies can be sketchy…but no so here. Sean Stone and his fellow cast mates deliver believable and, in some cases, chilling performances that enhance the already existing tension in this film.
My sole complaint about this film is the background music that accompanies some of the scarier scenes. Since this is supposed to footage that was found at the scene of a crime, a background score doesn’t make any sense. When it arose, I was immediately yanked out of my immersion in the film and irritated. Still, this is by no means a reason to ignore this film.
THE ASYLUM TAPES is a taut thriller that contains spine-chilling terror and visible tension. There are many images in here that will leave you white-knuckled with fear. I actually jumped at a couple of places, which is a true testament to the talent of the filmmakers. If you’re a horror fan, I recommend checking this one out soon. The film is out in stores now. Give it a look.