The Banshee Chapter (2013)
There are some good ideas and concepts stirring in this film. Military and scientific studies by the government in the 1970s concerning a drug known as MK Ultra and the threshold and capacity for fear has left a residual energy. A young reporter attempting to recreate this drug and the study, goes missing. His girl friend sets out to discover what he has uncovered and the reason for his disappearance. She watches the video tape of his drug experiment and discovers strange music and voices. Further investigation reveals this white noise is familiar to a local ham operator. It is a mysterious shortwave signal and transmission emanating from an uninhabited area of the desert. This leads her to an old drug-taking renegade, an abandoned test facility and a living test subject still entombed at the lab.
The problem is these aspects are scrambled, disconnected and never form into a cohesive story line. Every time the film begins to build momentum, it veers off in a different direction, deflating all the creepiness, tension, and atmosphere it had built. The scene in the desert with the short wave transmissions was creepy as hell. I wish they would have kept going from that point, but the girl turns her car around, goes back to civilization and has to start the momentum from scratch. The film is laced with some found footage scenes that could’ve had a unifying affect but the footage itself cuts to static so frequently, it becomes a distraction. The film had all the ingredients to make the perfect omelet. But in the end we are served nothing more than scrambled eggs with a bunch of uncooked ingredients on the side. It’s watchable and moderately enjoyable but it missed a great opportunity to be something truly frightening.
Not a total waste but failed to fulfill its potent possibilities.
I give it 2.1 blackened eyes on the scale of screaming banshee, horror-haunting conspiracies!