Country: USA / Germany
Movie Review: Horror flick “The Banshee Chapter” marks the directorial debut of Blair Erickson, causing sensations of déjà-vu through the use of alternating techniques, consisting in extremely mobile handheld camera to accentuate the anxiety and distress felt, sinister footage (some in black-and-white), and a few sudden scares accompanied with loud noises, a repetitive strategy that doesn’t surprise anymore if not properly done. The film starts with a small introduction to the real and bizarre US Government’s MK-Ultra Program, carried out in the 60’s, which consisted in administering chemical substances on humans to induce mind control. After Bill Clinton’s public apologies to all the victims of the experience, and other strange testimonials, the film departs to its fictional story whose nature could have been better managed if presented with dreamlike tones and uncertainty, instead of trying to achieve some veracity through its pseudo-realistic scenes. Journalist Anne Roland narrates the occurrences while embarks in a deep investigation filled with radio noise, ghostly appearances, and some monologues, to try to understand what happened to her dear friend, James Hirsch, a volunteer in the experiences. For that, the help of Thomas Blackburn, a swindler, miserable and junkie writer, will become precious. Somewhere between “Paranormal Activity” and “Blair Witch Project”, “The Banshee Chapter” was never reasonable or unsettling, and its execution is a mere aggregation of ideas presented in other films of the genre.