I want to start by wishing everyone in the world a very safe and Happy Halloween because the day is finally here. I was looking endlessly for something special to watch for today and I found the film. If it wasn’t for the service Shudder, I may not have found the film WNUF Halloween Special which is a found footage Horror film. Someone finds a tape from 1987 that is simply marked WNUF Halloween Special on it and it’s a special from a news station known as WNUF. The special that the station is airing features their ace reporter Frank Stewart (Paul Fahrenkopf) as he investigates paranormal activity in a house that has been abandoned for 20 years. The house was once the site of a mass murder known as the spirit board murders and Frank is there to debunk it along with some paranormal investigators. The film also stars Nicolette le Faye (Call Girl Of Cthulhu) as Veronica Stanze, Leanna Chamish (Malice) as Deborah Merritt, Richard Cutting (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) as Gavin Gordon, Brian St. August (Reunion) as Dr. Louis Berger, Helenmary Ball (Witch’s Brew) as Claire Berger, Sabrina Taylor-Smith (Click On This) as Donna Miles, and the film was directed by Chris LaMartina with commercials in the film directed by Shawn Jones, James Branscome, Scott Maccubbin, Lonnie Martin, Matthew Menter, and Andy Schoeb. To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.
Back in the 1990’s, The Blair Witch Project really kicked the found footage genre into overdrive especially in the horror genre. M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) had been in a dry spell for a while, but he returned in 2015 with The Visit. In the film, Katheryn Hahn’s (We’re The Millers) kids are making a documentary for her because they are going to visit their grandparents. The significance of it is that they’re mother hasn’t seen them in over 19 years and they want to document it for her in hopes that they can get them to shed light as to why and hopefully they can bring both parties together again. As soon as they get there, they start to notice that there grandparents are acting very weird and things don’t appear as they seem. The film stars Olivia DeJonge (The Sisterhood Of Night) as Becca, Ed Oxenbould (Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) as Tyler, Deanna Dunagan (Running Scared) as Nana, Peter McRobbie (Brokeback Mountain) as Pop Pop, Celia Keenan-Bolger (Mariachi Gringo) as Stacey, Samuel Stricklen (Mozart In The Jungle) as The Conductor, Jorge Cordova (In Plain Sight) as Miguel, and Benjamin Kanes (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)) as Dad.
As far as found footage horror films go, this is one that I could actually tolerate because there isn’t all that annoying shaky camera effect to it. You’re basically watching the documentary the kids are creating and the character of Becca is obsessed with film so you know the camera quality will be good. As far as the story is concerned, I actually enjoyed the story because it kind of keeps you on the edge of your seat. You know that something just seems terribly wrong with the grandparents even though you side with Becca and you just say, “hey their old what do you expect.” Now as far as the acting is concerned, I have to give Deanna Dunagan a lot of credit because she really does an incredible job just acting very weird. She portrays on screen what kids are scared of when it comes to old people that they don’t really know. With Peter McRobbie, you don’t really get to see how crazy his character is until, but what he does is crazy. The reveal towards the end will either shock you or it’s something you may have seen coming, but I won’t give it away. No spoilers today on the blog for you. This was a decent return for M. Night Shayamalan who in my opinion hadn’t really been making anything worth watching in a while. If you want something fun to watch that you know is Oscar worthy in any way shape or form, then check this one out. I am going to give the film a B- for a final grade.