Black Water Vampire (2014)

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Investigating the crimes of alleged serial killer Raymond Banks (Bill Oberst Jr.), four friends find a lot more than they bargained for. Every ten years, the bodies of lone females have been found butchered, lying in the woods. The man arrested and charged for the murders was Raymond Banks, however Danielle Mason (Danielle Lozeau) believes that he was coerced into making a confession, and that all is not as it seems. Together with 3 others, they head into the woods and down to Black Water Creek to find out what really took place.

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This film plays out very similar to The Blair Witch Project, the grandaddy of all found footage movies. You have the obligatory banging at the side of the tent, plus the ominous signs being painted on the trees. For the most part this film is reasonable enough. The acting and production values are quite good. However with Blair Witch, it’s strength’s lay in not revealing the hidden menace in the woods.

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Sadly in Black Water Vampires case, they just can’t resist showing you what is the cause of all the trouble. Which is sadly it’s undoing. I always say that the unknown is scarier, as it lets your mind conjure up something far more terrifying than what is eventually shown. Keeping the monster hidden and just out of focus would have done a lot more for this movie. It would have given it a far more tense feel and could only have been a good thing.

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Though it’s not for the want of trying. Everyone one of the main cast give it a good go, but it just isn’t enough. The reveal of the vampire is a bit of a let down. It doesn’t make you jump at any time during the movie, and for some strange reason is out in the daylight too. Sadly Black Water Vampire just can’t create the scares it so desperately seeks. The ending does come out of left field but just doesn’t do it. It tries to give the movie a Twin Peaks vibe that doesn’t quite fit. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s just not that great either. Worth a watch if there is nothing else on.

2/5

JM

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The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill (2013)

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Dear oh dear. Where do I start? This was shockingly bad. It involves a group of ‘paranormal investigators’ who get together to do investigate a ruined church in Clophill. Everything about this is bad. It’s done documentary style, interspersed with talking head segments. The group get to Clophill and interview some locals before it all goes a bit ‘Blair Witch’. The acting…if you can call it that is amateurish at best. It’s like an episode of Most Haunted, a very bad episode of Most Haunted. The whole thing felt pointless from beginning to end.

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Special features on the DVD were commentary from director Kevin Gates, cast & crew commentary, deleted scenes and a trailer. Maybe worth a watch if this sort of thing does it for you, but set phasers to ‘distinctly underwhelmed’.

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The copy of Paranormal Diaries: Clophill was graciously provided by the kind folks over at www.facebook.com/SecondSightFilms. The film is available to buy on October 14th from all good retailers.

1/5

JM

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