Friday, November 27, 2015

Realm of Souls

Director - Chase Smith (Creature Feature)
Starring - Lance Paul (Geek Haven), Ella Bardine (The Beer Burglar), and Chase Smith
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Who's hunting who?
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I often find trends when I review a film and sometimes those trends don't work in my favor.  I often find myself reviewing films in what I call a rut.  I typically will review movies that are part of a certain sub-genres.  When I review a zombie flick I find myself reviewing three or four zombie flicks in a row unintentionally.  I find myself doing that a lot with zombies and slashers.  Today I posted a review for the found footage flick The Last Horror Movie and now I find myself writing one for yet another found footage film.  By now most of you know that I am not a fan of found footage flicks but have been surprised by a few the last few years.  Recently, Brain Damage Films sent me the found footage flick Realm of Souls to check out.  Found it only fitting to watch it after The Last Horror Movie.  
     The film begins with two couples sitting around the campfire in the woods drinking it up before calling it a night where they will return to their tents to screw around.  However, they are not alone in the woods and find themselves on the business of a machete.  Fast forward a bit and another group of twenty-somethings are going into the woods looking for their friends.  They find their camera and start piecing things together when they learn that they share the same fate as their friends.
     When you review indie horror productions you have to keep in mind that they will never be perfect as much as the cast and crew want you to believe.  The films are usually plagued with budget restraints, cast dropping out of production halfway through, and editing problems.  Now, I don't know anything about this film but it felt like something happened halfway through the film and the team had to piece some stuff together to make the film feel complete which it fails to do.  The acting in this can be split up into segments.  The first portion of the film the cast is pretty smooth and the film flows pretty well but the the second half it all to shit.  The cast does not act at all.  Instead they carry on half-assed conversations that have little to nothing to do with the actual film.  This made the film almost impossible to watch and destroys the story.  The story for this one has so much potential but is unable to fully tie the film together.  The film starts off as a nod to the classic slasher in the woods flicks with two beautiful women getting naked and then dying.  The film then tries to add a paranormal found footage spin to it where it could have still worked but the middle ground with the team partying it up results in a broken story and filler that is pretty much unwatchable.  Most scenes feel like they were filmed with no idea of where they would end up in the finished film.  Editing and many cuts from the film would have went a long way.  With all that being said, the film's last 30 minutes or so was well worth the time.  The film loops a pretty heavy track while people are getting butchered.  This was fun and definitely saved the film.  Finally, the film is full of on screen kills that are not that original but they are gruesome and fantastic.  The practical effects are great considering the film's budget.  This was surprisingly well done and these kills and practical effects are the film's high point.  Overall, Realm of Souls is a film that had a solid story but poor execution.  The film does end on a high note but the film's faults are still notable.  Flaws aside, this was still a fun film once it hit the last 30 minutes or so.  I recommend it.

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