Published on December 13th, 2013 | by Mel Gray0
The Banshee Chapter: REAL Scary
I’ve been waiting awhile for a feature horror flick that actually freaked me out. The “movie maker gods” demand jump scares, dumb jocks, and trope-ish camera work now more than ever, but fortunately writer/director Blair Erickson’s new indie-film The Banshee Chapter has my back. I’m not gonna lie, the first of the well-placed jumpers got me. I actually fell off the couch a little.
That brings me to my next point. That’s right! I watched this on my couch. In an era where it can be tough (outside of major metropolitan areas) to access theatrical releases of innovative indie films, it’s nice to see the folks for The Banshee Chapter jumping on the Video On Demand (VOD) train. Pardon the Judeo-Christian references but XLrator Media brought the proverbial mountain to me. Also, because of my satellite provide (it rhymes with Mireckt Shee-Vee), I was able to view the film a full month before the theatrical release on January 10, 2014, and a few days before the rest of the streaming services had Banshee available. Thank you “Dormeckt Heeevee”! This movie was so satisfying and completely worth my time and money.
Let’s start with the fact that the main character, journalist Anne Rowland (Katia Winter, Sleepy Hollow), is a
respectable, smart, female protagonist in a horror movie. Mind. Blown. The story follows Anne as she searches for her missing friend James (Michael Macmillian, True Blood) who disappeared while experimenting with mind-altering drugs. Aided by a rogue counter-culture writer Thomas — who is brilliantly portrayed by Ted Levine (The Silence of The Lambs) — Anne finds herself drawn into the dangerous world of top-secret government chemical research and the mystery of a disturbing radio signal of unknown origin. The Banshee Chapter is based on real documents, actual test subject testimony, and uncovered secrets about covert programs run by the CIA.
Full disclosure, I know director Blair Erickson. You may have heard him on our show in the past. We’ve been following the journey of his original feature film as it’s made its way from festival circuit to your TV. The movie has taken home some pretty high honors, including a bronze medal in the “Audience Choice” category at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, where it was also named “Scariest Movie.” I’m happy to see this film make its way onto national screens in January, but where I live in “Xenophob-urbia” I seriously doubt
my theater will have it. Using VOD I not only get it in front of my eyeballs immediately, I get the opportunity to support something seriously lacking out there: good storytelling.
There’s plenty of characteristic horror film work in Banshee, but it’s used to augment the story rather than hide the fact that there really isn’t one. It’s also a clever style that blends current, government conspiracy themed, sci-fi into the thing while staying true to it’s genre. The aforementioned “gods” would despise this kind of originality.
I say piss on them. Go out and see this movie. Or watch it at home and skip those annoying people in the theater who keep screaming at all the wrong times. Do it for yourself. Do it for Blair. Do it because it’s fun! Just make sure you do it. Go check out The Banshee Chapter fan page on Facebook and read all the noise.
Director Blair Erickson has supported us all this time and I’m happy and excited to do the same! Who’s with me?!
The Banshee Chapter AVAILABLE:
VOD: December 12, 2013 IN THEATERS: January 10, 2014 ON DVD: February 4, 2014
Don’t miss out! Check out the trailer below and if you’re not sold you probably don’t have a pulse. Real horror. NEW Horror. In a world of cookie-cutter films this one is hella original and for that Blair, I thank you!
Rated R for some violence/disturbing images, drug use, language and brief nudity (87 minutes)