Oct 27, 2014

25 of 31: The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

A vain attempt by a formerly prolific blogger to review 31 new (to me) horror films in the 31 days of October. We did it last year and it was a gas. Can we do it once more? Let's find out.

Platform: Netflix on Roku
Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsey

I'm admitting to knowing exactly bupkiss on this one when I picked it for this evening's entertainment. It was listed as being recommended for me by Netflix, and how often can that go wrong*? From the title alone, I'm assuming this has something to do with possession or kidnapping or something. Maybe they just take the titular (hehe) Ms. Logan to the DMV to get her driver's license renewed. Let's find out, shall we?

A film crew is invited to document the one woman's ongoing descent into the hell that is Alzheimer's disease. Yup, another entry into the faux documentary/found footage genre. Only about my 7th or 8th such type of film this month so far. After some initial hesitancy on the part of the subject, the film crew is invited into the Logan home to begin their project. The project involves documenting how Alzheimer's not only destroys the life of the victim, but also of the primary caregiver and/or the immediate family.

As the film progresses, Deborah falls deeper and deeper into madness and despair. But the film crew (and we the viewers) begin to notice some other things going on in the background. Supernatural things. It appears as if Deborah Logan is fighting this war on many fronts. For her body and mind with the Alzheimer's, and for her soul against whatever demonic force is trying to possess her.

That's a novel take for these types of films. Usually the victim is a child or a young woman. But Deborah Logan is a tough old bird. Raised her daughter as single mother after her husband died at an early age. She's the epitome of a strong, capable woman who has endured many trials and tribulations in her time. Her 40-something-ish daughter is not handling the current situation well, turning to the bottle as a way of dealing. Usually it's the parents in these films that go that route. So kudos to the filmmakers for taking something familiar and turning it on its ear.

Jill Larson, as Deborah Logan, is amazing in this character. I've seen her someplace before. A quick glance at her IMDB profile shows that she has mostly worked in television, daytime television at that. Soap operas and the like. But she truly shines here as a woman being destroyed from the inside and out. Her descent from early-onset dementia to full-blown possession is something to see. Pretty amazing stuff.

So some familiar territory, some originality. Some pretty decent frights mixed in as well. The backstory behind the evil entity is anything new though. Telegraphed from a mile away. So it's a bit of a mixed bag, but enough for me to recommend it. Check it out.

Verdant Dude Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkin ales

*all the fucking time

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