Movie Name: The Taking of Deborah Logan
Studio: Eagle Films
Release Date(s): October 21, 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) is succumbing to Alzheimer’s Disease and her daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) is looking for help. When a research group asks to shoot the disease’s effect, Mia Medina (Michelle Ang) and her crew of Gavin (Brett Gentile) and Luis (Jeremy DeCarlos) move into the Logan home to document the experience. Deborah is getting worse, but something else is happening. She is beginning to speak in tongues and seems to possess immense strength at times. Something is taking over Deborah Logan…and the horror is real!
Written and directed by Adam Robitel (also with writing credit to Gavin Heffernan), The Taking of Deborah Logan is a found footage horror film. The movie received relatively positive reviews.
It feels like found footage has been done into the ground and possession movies goes through resurgences every few years. With this, I approached The Taking of Deborah Logan with some hesitation, but the movie did manage to do some things that set it apart from other similar films.
Many found footage films just don’t seem very well planned. The movies have a concept and follow the concept, but don’t know how to fill the time. This movie does a bit better job of having characters that act a bit more like real people (getting police and doctors involved for example), but it also does some screwball stuff like having the two characters go after Deborah and the child at the end which doesn’t seem realistic. In this film the unrealistic and derivative stuff slightly is slightly outweighed by original aspects of the script.
I do have to say I do like both Anne Ramsay and Jill Larson in this film. Both actresses really push the limit. Generally, found footage films don’t hire known actresses (to keep with the idea that they could be real), but both Larson and Ramsay have long acting histories and the film benefits from that.
The visuals of the movie also are a bit more steady than many found footage films (minus a lot of the ending sequence which is typical). The actual documentary set-up works better than The Blair Witch documentary set-up in that you have to assume that almost all of this footage is for the project. Something like Cloverfield has “unskilled” people shooting and this is supposed to be a group of professionals.
The Taking of Deborah Logan isn’t the most original film you’ll ever see, but it is better than a lot of its contemporaries. If the movie had come out in a vacuum where other possession and found footage movies didn’t exist, it would have been more recognized as an original. While the movie does set-up a potential sequel, the movie also seems rather finite…and that is almost always a good thing.
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