Stars: Jessica Morris, Kaiwi Lyman, Jeff Adler, Jamie Bernadette | Written by Danny Draven, Shane Bitterling | Directed by Danny Draven
Danny Draven, who some genre fans will know as the director of Hell Asylum, Deathbed and other low budget fare, is back behind the camera for this 2012 horror flick entitled Reel Evil. The cast are fairly unknown so I won’t delve into their history in film here, it doesn’t need to be spoken about for this review to make sense.
Reel Evil is a found footage style horror movie, along the lines of Blair Witch and such, but sadly it doesn’t have the curiosity and originality of some found footage films, and instead follows cliques and falls flat in many areas throughout its short 78 minute running time.
The story follows some struggling film-makers, who get a shot at making-it with a documentary film, and they take to exploring a haunted location, but their good fortune becomes bad when they find that the location in question is drowning in evil spirits. A haunted hospital film, then, that has potential to be a fairly fun, though well-trodden, haunting flick, but sadly, due to poor acting and strange direction doesn’t really make it past being bad, and at best, passable.
I don’t go into any film with the intention of disliking what I am going to watch, but this was a tough film to enjoy, though I did get a kick out of some of the dialogue, which at its cheesiest felt almost comical, and the short length of the film meant that the suffering of watching the picture never really made it to terribly painful because it was over quite fast. It isn’t scary, or well made, and the performances leave a lot to be desired, but I think some fans of low budget horror and found footage films might dig it. It will have its fans somewhere, but I can see most people finding it difficult to watch for the reasons I mentioned above.
I will say, however, that I truly love that films like this, and other low budget horror flicks, are still being made. It’s a genre that once in a while offers a little gem that regardless of poor performances and lack of budget can offer a thoroughly entertaining journey. This didn’t do that for me, but my opinion might differ from yours.
Reel Evil is available now on DVD, through 88 Films.