Chris Shaw is an internet video blogger who seeks out summoning rituals and the like and filming them to test their legitimacy. His brother finds a ritual called ‘Beckoning the Butcher’ and Chris and some friends go to a holiday house in the middle of nowhere to beckon the butcher.
The version I saw had some severely messed up contrast, so all the people looked bright pink. This was hugely distracting and got a lot of laughs from the audience and I wasn’t sure if the film had actually been released like that, if it was just a dodgy screening or if them being pink was somehow relevant to the film (I dismissed the latter quite quickly, but then it had me thinking about stories involving summoning spirits that turn their marks pink). ANYWAY, I mention this as it affected how I viewed the film (thinking it was rushed and hastily distributed without bothering to fix the contrast) and it was only just now that I realised it wasn’t meant to be that way.
I was initially excited because I thought it was going to be a ‘one man’ film – it started out as Chris filmed himself beginning one ritual – but then it quickly turned into a formulaic found footage film. And then it added in documentary parts and music – which should never EVER be in a found footage film – and like the last film I watched, offered nothing new. Unlike the last film I watched, it was moderately entertaining. Nothing amazing, it wasn’t a thrill ride but you did want to see what happened. There were a few decent quiet spooky moments – when will people understand that silence is scary and music isn’t? – but generally just ended then with a cheap jump scare.
The actors were alright considering, but the characters are so badly written and the dialogue is terrible (“imagine the internet is an iceberg”, it’s 2014, not the 90s, you don’t need to explain the internet to us). Everything they do is so contrived, nothing feels natural at all.
For a low budget film, it does ok. And just as a film in general; it’s watchable but forgettable. I wish we’d had a copy that wasn’t set in an alternate universe where the people are bright pink because goddamn that was distracting. If you like found footage or just like to watch low-budget films it’s worth a look, but just don’t be expecting anything particularly special.