The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.


The Taking of Deborah LoganTitleThe Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
Director: Adam Robitel
Runtime: 90 minutes
 
 
Acting
Jill Larson is absolutely remarkable as the titular character. She is able to play both the sweet old woman and the possessed, evil creature with incredible believability. Her daughter, played by Anne Ramsay, is just as strong. The duo play a wonderfully believable mom and daughter, and help bring the whole film together. The other actors are great, too, but no one has as difficult a performance as the mom and daughter.

 

Story & Script
What’s great about this is that it doesn’t set out to be a paranormal horror film, which is unusual for a found footage movie. Instead, it is a look at how Alzheimer’s affects the entire family, and Deborah Logan was going to the be the main subject. As the nights go on and the film crew lives with their subject, they start to realize that the things that are happening in the home are not related to this disease, and this is what opens the door to becoming a supernatural horror film. It’s done really well. My biggest complaint comes in the film’s final act. The story get a bit muddy as it tries to tie the whole possession tale together, and the shaky cam doesn’t make it any easier to follow at the end.

 

Direction
The most difficult aspect of any found footage film is justifying the camera as things get more and more bleak. Director Adam Robitel is able to overcome this by making the camera the character’s only source of light as they descend into darkness. At one point, the character even says “give me the light” instead of “give me the camera”, which sealed the deal for me that it makes complete sense that they’re still filming. I wish more found footage films would follow this same simple idea.

Intangibles
There are a couple images from Deborah Logan that won’t be leaving my mind anytime soon. There’s one in particular, toward the end of the film, that literally made my jaw drop, and the goosebumps filled my arm. It is something that has to be seen to be believed, and made the movie that much better.

Rewatchability
I would gladly watch this again. There are a good amount of scenes that really stand out, and begged to be seen a second time.

The Verdict
The Taking of Deborah Logan is one of the best found footage films I’ve seen in quite some time, and though I thought the story could have been clearer at the end, it is still one of the more interesting recent horror films you’ll find. Taking of Deborah Logan is easy to recommend.

three_stars
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Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.