Banshee Chapter – USA, 2013 – overview and reviews

 

banshee

‘The experiments are over. The terror has begun.’

Banshee Chapter – aka The Banshee Chapter – is a 2013 science fiction horror film and the directorial debut of Blair Erickson, who also provided the screenplay. The movie stars Ted Levine, Katia Winter and Michael McMillian.

The film is very loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story From Beyond and the 1986 film of the same name.

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Plot:

Supposedly inspired by actual documents detailing clandestine CIA experiments, Banshee Chapter follows a resourceful young journalist (Katia Winter) who screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-09-01-51enlists the aid of a disgraced counterculture writer (Ted Levine) in locating her missing friend (Michael McMillan), who vanished without a trace after ingesting a mysterious, military-grade chemical.

Drawn into a top-secret government research laboratory, she soon discovers the powers-that-be have a very good reason for concealing their findings…

Review:

“The whole MK Ultra mind control story is ripe for horror, as are mysterious transmissions and secret government facilities where unsuspecting people are made into guinea pigs.

The film’s use of genuine footage and recreated experimental video is well-handled and definitely offers food for thought. In fact, I have to say that this is one of the few cases where a fake documentary approach would have enhanced the storytelling, rather than throwing us in with a couple of somewhat unconvincing characters.

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Banshee Chapter is by no means an awful film, but it’s nowhere near as good as you suspect it could have been, or as powerful as I’d hoped it would be, and that’s a real pity.”

David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Bolstered by very strong work from Ms. Winter (if you don’t like this character, the film is sorta sunk from the outset) and some truly enjoyable support from character actor extraordinaire Ted Levine (as the reclusive author turned reluctant sidekick on Anna’s quest for the horrible truth), Banshee Chapter doesn’t actually have anything to do with banshees (sorry, banshee fans) but as a smart, clever, and diverting little mash-up of numerous sci-fi and horror tropes, it’s certainly worth a look.” Scott Weinberg, FEAR Net

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Buy  Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

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“The bane in this film’s side is often the script and/or the production design. I often say that the weakness of many films these days lie in the lack of interesting or memorable dialogue. The characters aren’t fleshed out enough for us to want to take the journey with them. In the end, Banshee Chapter  is just a series of dark scenes and pseudo psycho-babble with allusions to greater ideas… and films.” Christopher Jiminez, Shock Till You Drop

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

“A solidly unsettling little picture with good performances from veteran Levine as a fleshed-out Ken Kesey-cum-Philip Dick-cum-Robert Anton Wilson character and Winter as the driven, unusual heroine. It does have a lot of the usual found footage wandering, but stages its scary moments very well – with one great jump moment.” Kim Newman, Screen Daily

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