Following in the tradition of what Blumhouse productions have set in motion with their Paranormal Activity franchise, although here not connected with that company, this is just another abysmal take on the handheld, or ‘found footage’, horror genre. Although Blair Witch did kick off the whole racket back in 99, this particular wave of films is designed with a very, very twisted core idea using the technology to in many ways assault the viewers psyche, with sudden jumps and the mixing of real footage with what are designed to be terrifying images. The Red Dragon coins this the ‘Battery’ genre, where as well as the standard use of batteries your visual and audio experience is reduced to being hit repeatedly with shocks and screeches, sudden jumps, and prolonged shots where you know a jump is coming and you just have to wait for it.
It doesn’t sound all that different from the horror genre in general over the decades, but there is a big cinematic difference and the end result is simply a sickening experience on a par with ‘Torture Porn’, and this kind of filmmaking is just about the most rudimentary and easiest to create. Literally anyone can make this stuff, and the team behind this have barely bothered at all with believable characters or a story, with the focus being on a young couple who get hoodwinked by a cabbie into going to a party with him where they get drugged and the girl impregnated by some kind of demon and the offspring starts to twist the young girl’s being into a creature of evil, whilst her partner figures out what’s going on and precedes to do very little about it except stand in the right places for the jumps to arrive.
Same old, same old – to compare this style of film with one of value we have ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (68) which has essentially the same storyline (and also has Mia Farrow’s unconscious character raped by Satan at the bequest of her husband, played by John Cassavetes, and to explain her bruises the next day he says something like ‘Oh yeah, you passed out so I just used you anyway’, not exactly an elaborate excuse) and is revered as a classic, it’s disturbing but watchable. I don’t believe any human being could get anything positive out of this sort of trash which is becoming ever more frequent at the cinema, to the point where I may simply start drawing a line and not even bothering to watch future releases, there really is no point.