The Banshee Chapter (2014)
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Movie InfoOn the trail of a missing friend (Michael McMillian) who had been experimenting with mind-altering drugs, a young journalist (Katia Winter) - aided by a rogue counter-culture writer (Ted Levine, The Silence of The Lambs) -- finds herself drawn into the dangerous world of top-secret government chemical research and the mystery of a disturbing radio signal of unknown origin. A fast-paced thriller blending fact and fiction, Banshee Chapter is based on real documents, actual test subject testimony, and uncovered secrets about covert programs run by the CIA.(c) XLRATOR … More
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Critic Reviews for The Banshee Chapter
The central drama never fully engages, but the jolts that "Banshee" delivers are check-the-locks scary.
The Banshee Chapter can't seem to decide if it wants to be a found-footage horror movie, or a more traditional one. To its detriment, it splits the difference.
H.P. Lovecraft's From Beyond gets a 21st century revamp in Blair Erickson's solid first feature.
The film avoids any real attempt at constructing scarily effective set-pieces in favour of having one of the unnamed entities pop screeching out of the dark whack-a-mole-style every few minutes.
More unsettling than actually scary, this slow-burning horror movie is directed and acted with style even though the script feels rather under-developed.
Not scary. And you can't have the non-found-footage part be as wobbly as the found-footage parts.
Although no single strand within it can be called original, Banshee Chapter blends them flawlessly, delivering the most convincing piece of otherworldly horror for years.
X-Files style horror movie based on MK-Ultra drug experiments. Ted Levine as a Hunter Thompson character is superb. On a budget, the film is a lot scarier than most of the more expensive "apparition" type movies showing up at the Cineplex.
Ultimately, Banshee Chapter isn't a game-changer, but it's a tight, neatly constructed little shocker that delivers what it promises -- would that many bigger films could say the same.
Although it doesn't push the limits of horror as far as it could, the feature offers a mildly unnerving journey into the abyss of the brain, dialing up the creep-out factor as it investigates a nightmare rooted in reality.
Director Blair Erickson surely has style to burn, even if he oftentimes betrays his atmospheric shorthand and gets cold feet at the most inopportune moments.
ambitious horror film, but too much of the time the viewer is just waiting for something horrific to happen.
Blair Erickson's The Banshee Chapter is a relentless bit of horror that mixes governmental conspiracies and psychedelic drugs for one hell of a traumatizing trip.
The twist ending doesn't quite impact as it should, but that is mostly because Erickson's imagery and storytelling has scaled such convincingly offbeat heights up to that point. He is a filmmaker to watch.
It works as a gonzo exposť of some of the 20th century's madder moments - but perhaps more importantly, this psychotropic remapping of history never forgets to be proper jump-out-of-your-seat scary. Think of it as Fear and Loathing in Chamber 5...
Audience Reviews for The Banshee Chapter
An investigative journalist looks for a friend who disappeared after taking an experimental CIA hallucinogenic drug from the 1960s. The plot pulls in CIA mind control experiments, "numbers stations," and other bits of paranoid fringe lore, but as a whole the this talky found-footage style movie has only one really good idea: it's fun to see a key character transparently based on gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson tromping through an "X-Files" style scenario.More
This was an actually well thought premise, with genuinely creepy and scary moments but it tried to bite more than it could chew. Too many conspiracy theories that don't matter much in the end and an Hunter S. Thompson twist that you'll either roll with it or will kill the movie for you. All this a bit unnecessary to the main story which was quite entertaining and had some highlights here and there.More
Horror based around real life experiments on humans by the US government where people reported feeling like something was after them and seeing strange entities and hallucinating. A female journalists friend goes missing after taking the experimental drug and she goes on a mission to find out what happened to him. Her findings lead her to the house of a cult writer and the journalists discoveries get deeper and darker.
The Banshee Chapter does a good job of upping the tension on a regular basis and not overdoing it on the scares so when they do come, it fucking works!
Being loosely based on something that actually happened also peaks your interest . Winner of 'Scariest Film' at Total Films Frightfest, The Banshee Chapters real and gritty feel adds another dimension, making it a must see for horror and thriller fans alike.
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