Cassadaga – USA, 2011 – reviews

Cassadaga is a 2011 American supernatural serial killer horror feature film directed by Anthony DiBlasi (Extremity; Last Shift; Most Likely to Die) from a screenplay is the feature-length debut for co-writers Bruce Wood and Scott Poiley (Exhume).

The movie stars Kelen Coleman, Kevin Alejandro, Louise Fletcher, Rus Blackwell, Hank Stone, J Larose, Amy LoCiero and Christina Bach Norman.

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Devastated by the death of her younger sister, Lily Morel seeks solace at the spiritualist community of Cassadaga. But instead of finding closure, she contacts something else – the vengeful ghost of a murdered young woman.

With her life crumbling all-around her, Lily races to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death – a task that will bring her face-to-face with a sadistic serial killer known only as “Geppetto”.

Reviews:

“The villain, although essentially motiveless, is authentically frightening, and the ghoulish scares do their job, even if they’re nothing we haven’t seen before. There’s a problem with pacing – some pivotal events happen too swiftly, others take way too long to arrive – and Kevin Alejandro is underused, but a strong script, confident direction and some excellent performances make for a superior thriller.” Laptop Zombie

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Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

“How refreshing it is to experience a modern horror film with rounded characters, and director DiBlasi handles the script’s twists and turns deftly as well as pulling from his actors amazingly grounded performances, while at the same time delivering some exceedingly tense and horrific scenes. There are things in this film you haven’t seen before, and you’ll want to.” Sean Decker, Dread Central

“The story line is really well written with many clues, loopholes, misdirection, and surprises along the way (though it is also a bit long). I’ve always admired films that you think are wrapping up and then pull out a few new stops.” HorrorNews.net

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” …it is a very messy and confusing film. It hops around more than a flea with ADD: never settling on a tone or style. Who the hell is this film meant to appeal to? As far as I can tell, its target audience would have to be the type of person who enjoys watching Days of Our Lives and Saw in equal measure.” Rebecca VB, Virtual Borderland

“chance encounters with the killer are brief as he is usually screaming at his victims or lying on the ground crying … Cassadaga has multiple points of potential, however, we end up with a story that is like a puppet with multiple puppeteers that simply cannot work in sync with each other.” Lauren Taylor, Bloody Disgusting

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“DiBlasi’s attempts at ghostly scares are indifferently conceived, and the serial killer’s workshop, while unpleasant, is a conventional … hardware-equipped, but mysteriously lacking the medical equipment you’d need to keep victims alive after dismemberment…” Chris Packham, Village Voice

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“At one suspenseful point, Lily’s lack of hearing is conveyed with total silence. It’s enough for the viewer to feel how frightening that aural isolation could be and also to ponder why the effect wasn’t used more often. This eager film piles on common fears: evil puppetry, haunted homes and overly generous hosts. So despite a sloppy and humorless execution, it is scary by association.” Miriam Bale, The New York Times

Choice dialogue:

Lily: “I don’t have any pictures of my father.”

Cast and characters:

  • Kelen Coleman as Lily
  • Kevin Alejandro as Mike
  • Louise Fletcher as Claire
  • Lucas Beck as Thomas
  • Amy LoCicero as Jennifer
  • Rus Blackwell as Christian Burton
  • Sarah Sculco as Michele
  • Lucius Baston as Officer Bill Hall
  • Christina Bach as Gabriella
  • Hank Stone as Maxwell
  • J. LaRose as Heath
  • Randy Molnar as Professor Randall
  • Beth Marshall as Amity & Corrie
  • Rachel Durose as Haley
  • Avis-Marie Barnes as Susan
  • Carlos Navarro as Todd
  • Amy Dionne as Cherise (as Amy Hicks-Bevly)
  • Janine Klein as Mother
  • Garrett Boyle as Boy
  • Beth Marshall as Amity / Corrie
  • Dennis Neal as Detective Hubbard
  • Randy Molnar as Professor Randall

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