I may have found a movie that gave me the creeps, one that made my imagination go wild with glee and fear as I ascended the stairs out of my basement. I lied awake envisioning something Very Scary™ looming in the shadows in my bedroom.
My dear readers, I’m excited to present to you: My review of The Taking of Deborah Logan.
At first, I felt the camerawork and style were difficult to get behind. Documentary-type filming, but the cast definitely felt like actors. Despair not, readers. As we’re introduced to the premise we become immersed in the storyline. Psychology students find a woman, Deborah, sadly afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. After some convincing, they are allowed to film the daily life of her and her daughter, Sarah, to better understand this horrible and heartbreaking disease.
And how horrible it was.
Poor Deborah is in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s and we see some sad examples as the story progresses: She forgets vacations she’s taken, she forgets where she hid her spade (Debs is an avid gardener), and other seemingly-harmless happenings. However, as the plot thickens, we find Deborah begin to act stranger and stranger. In one scene we see her “levitate” from the floor to the counter. But that HAD to be an error in the filming equipment, right? Another scene we find her standing in a dark room, (and good lord, turn on some lights, people!) staring out the window into the night. Mrs. Logan, why are you standing in the dark looking out a window? Mrs. Logan, did you just bust that window right open even though it was nailed closed? Mrs. Logan, ma’am, please stop ripping your skin off! Mrs. Logan, put some clothes back on and come down out of the attic- the switchboard doesn’t work anym- ma’am, ma’am, please lower your voice. No one likes it when you use that demonic tone (except me, I liked it. It was horrifying and intense and probably the first moment in a movie that made me utter an “euuuughhhh” in confusion and fear).
Eventually, Sarah and the small film crew make some discoveries regarding incomplete rituals involving snakes and blood. Sarah finds a corpse in another attic in their home (yes, it’s addressed: the Logans have multiple attics). Deborah degloves her hand and breaks out of a mental health facility toting a small girl. Later, one of the students, Mia, follows Sarah into an old mine in hopes they’ll find Deborah there “finishing the ritual” with the girl. Indeed they find her, and they also find her to be very, very hungry.
Readers, imagine you have a giant ice cream sundae. You’ve been craving it for weeks; it’s been a very long and hot July. Finally, you have all the flavors and toppings together in the perfect-sized bowl, and the only thing stopping you from destroying that sundae is the confines of your disappointing, human-sized jaws. Then you happen to remember, hey, snakes can dislocate their jaws to eat their prey- why don’t you try that!
Well Deborah did try this. Sarah and Mia find Mrs. Logan devouring this poor girl in the pitch black of the mine- with only the light of the video camera to illuminate the ghastly and deeply unsettling view of a geriatric woman full-on feasting upon a small child. And readers, it was wonderful. My mouth was agape (I’m getting good at these puns), the blankets were pulled snuggly up to my chin, my clammy hands gripping the remote control. So good, so weird, so… dare I say....scary?
The film wraps up shortly afterward and we see the same girl being interviewed by a news crew later on. After the interview, she gives the camera a slow, creeping smile. Was the ritual completed after all?
Despite the rocky beginning with the set-up, the actors “acting”, and the almost unconvincing arguments between them all during their “study”, this movie is held in high regard for me now. I will happily recommend this one to people in need of a weird, psychological, and slightly-supernatural fright night.
Good movie: Eh, mostly. The casting for Deborah and Sarah was spot on.
Scary movie: YES, finally!
Horror Qualifier: 10/10
Horror Quality: 9/10
Film Quality: 6/10
Sleep tight readers, we may find another Very Scary Movie™ yet!