Starring - Danielle Baker (Dead on Site), Jules Hartley (1000 Ways to Die), and Ted Jonas (Reno 911!)
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The legend becomes reality"
Format - DV D (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
Back to horror. After taking some time off and checking out some sexploitation flicks I intended on returning to horror earlier when I ventured into the imaginative world of We Are the Flesh. I thought WAtF was going to be a straight forward horror film but I was way off. This post-apocalyptic thriller was more taboo eroticism than anything. I decided to follow that up with the Brain Damage Films' release of The Before Time. This is one I had been sitting on for some time waiting for the perfect time to break it out. Sadly, it was not that entertaining and not the best film to start a horror movie binge with.
The film follows a news crew who plan on using the site of a grisly murder and location of an old Native American legend as a way to make a quick reality show. They bring on two rival news anchors and a Native American intern to help them with the legend and the location. Things start out shaky and the cast and crew realize that the producer has placed actors and obstacles in their way to make the show interesting but things turn bloody when they find treasure and awaken an ancient evil that calls the desert its home.
This was one of the films I had actually heard about from one of the other writers on the site. He reviewed the film and loved it so I was curious to see it myself. Sadly, I could not enjoy it like he did. In fact, I did not enjoy it at all. The film was slow, poorly written, and tried to capture the look and feel of another found footage film that would establish the sub-genre. The acting in this one is decent but not every cast member is dedicated to their roles like the others. Danielle Baker, Jules Hartley, and Ted Jonas are great in their roles. They give the film everything they have and then some. They go above and beyond to make their characters believable but the remainder of the cast is a little hard to follow. They have a hard time building up their characters and going the way the scene needs them to go. In one scene everyone is panicking but one individual is calm. Completely out of place. The story for this one could have worked but it is not that original. A horror film set against the back drop of a reality show has been done before. The first that comes to mind is the British horror series Dead Set. With that being said, it borrows heavily from The Blair Witch Project but is unable to pull off the jump scares and gags like that film can. The reason Blair Witch Project was so effective was because it would build tension and suspense before hitting you with the scare. This film was unable to replicate that and it was just too bright. When you can see the jump scares coming it ruins the effect. Finally, if you are looking for gore you can see a little computer generated gore but nothing that really stands out. In fact, the viewer is robbed of all kills and only get to see a little of the after math. Fans of violent horror films and blood will not be happy with this one. Overall, The Before Time is a missed opportunity. The film tries too hard to be The Blair Witch Project and not it's own thing. The cast needs some work and the story needs some tweaking. Skip it.