Usually, I'm not a great fan of 'found footage' films; aside from inevitably having to get used to viewing that's in and out of focus, I often find that, whilst the style lends itself to total realism, the plots can get carried away with themselves and the studios end up relying on underwhelming special effects that don't sit well with the premise (cf. Paranormal Activity/As Above, So Below). For me at least, this tends to ruin the uncanny, creepy nature of this style by robbing itself of its own credibility.
Fortunately, Webcast completely avoids these flaws, rooting itself instead in a fundamentally believable plot and characters. It plays brilliantly off of the concept that we never really know what's going on behind our neighbours' doors, particularly in the close-knit community setting, whilst delivering a compelling combination of the intriguing and creepy, a sort of Rear Window meets The Wicker Man.
Along with fantastic, truly believable performances from the cast (Redford, Tremain, and Wright in particular), the director (McGhie) also does a masterful job. The pace steadily builds throughout the film (another difficult achievement with this genre that often loses tension through boring explanations or reliance on too many jump scares). The filming and editing style itself even reflects the naturally evolving plot; the quick cuts and choppy edits that help echo the mystery and intrigue at the start of the film are replaced with longer, compelling scenes as Chloe and Ed further unravel the horrifying thread.
All in all, a brilliant first outing for the director, and a wonderful microbidget film that really does become more intriguing and chilling as it goes on; just like a real mystery! If you're interested in supporting original, independent films, then I would highly recommend Webcast.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
Stranded in the suburbs, student filmmaker Chloe begins to make a documentary about her family's troubled past. Whilst filming, she and best friend Ed, witness an hysterical girl appearing to escape from a neighbour's house, only to be quickly dragged back inside again. Is she a recovering drug addict like the neighbours say? Or is she really in danger from those who claim to be caring for her? Chloe and Ed begin to run surveillance, but as they dig deeper, they find themselves caught up in a world of strange beliefs, old religions, and dark witchcraft. Their search for the truth will climax in a live webcast that will terrify and make those watching question the very authenticity of what they are seeing. Webcast is inspired by a wealth of films from both the horror and thriller genres, including Rear Window, The Wicker Man, The Blair Witch Project, Rosemary's Baby, Paranormal Activity, and Race with the Devil.
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June 17, 2019 at 08:25 PM