Fading Of The Cries Reviews
Michael's wife and daughter die in a car crash. Then 14 years go by. However, this point in time is returned to more than once, such as when Maggie introduces very young Sarah to Uncle Michael at Echling Manor.
In the present, bad-tempered, ungrateful teenager Sarah steals some booze and a necklace, gives her mother a hard time, then goes to see her friend and fellow drinker Emily. They drink and talk about how creepy Echling Manor is. That does not last long. The zombie apocalypse arrives in the blink of an eye. Emily gets killed right off the bat.
A young man (I guess) rescues Sarah, and they make their way through small mobs of zombies. These are fast zombies. The young man is even faster with his sword, but he and Sarah have to run to get away from the remaining zombies.
In the past, Michael finds a large, creepy book under a broken floor board in Echling Manor. All this back and forth over 14 years is irritating. Perhaps I'll see the utility later.
Sarah and the young man hole up on the 'old church' which looks absolutely nothing like the rest of the town. They have an incredibly inane conversation filled with bald assertions that often make no sense. The young man finally identifies himself as Jacob. With lines such as 'Hey, I need you to trust me,' and 'The sanctuary has been breached,' I'm hoping the zombies get him first. As well as the zombies, we have a gorilla-Predator-Spiderman cross-match, and hordes of low-flying bats. Sigh.
In the past, Michael reads the journal or whatever. He's tormented by bumps in the night and feelings of doom. He reads the journal (a spell book) and ignores writing his current novel. Eventually, he starts invoking spells. He shows Maggie and Sarah one of the more elementary ones. Unfortunately, it immediately starts warping his ego and ethical sensibilities.
Jacob and Sarah go down the secret exit from the church. The church is one small room, maybe 1000 square feet. Underneath the church is huge, as in hundreds of football fields of area, huge supporting structures, and quite a high ceiling. Sarah meets the necromancer Mathias, who wants the necklace from Sarah's neck. He cannot take it from her, for unknown reasons. Soon Mathias shows up as does an enormous crowd of CGI characters. To escape, they climb a cliff hundreds of feet high. Sure.
Maggie and Jill hide in a closet at home. Maggie hears a noise, and goes to see whether it is Sarah returning. It's not; it's the zombies. Maggie and Jill run for it.
Jacob and Sarah have more run-ins with zombies. They have some quality time together where they discuss the necromancer, the necklace, the book of spells, and the monsters. Jacob lived at Michael's house a bit after Michael. They discuss Sarah's meeting of the necromancer, and the 'Rune of Syirlan,' which Sarah had been wearing as a necklace. Jacob tells her that they've been trailed because she had skin contact with the Run. Sarah tells Jacob that she inherited the necklace from Uncle Michael after he died in Echling Manor. Jacob relates that his parents died soon after they moved into the house a few years later. Also, Echling Manor used to be the necromancer's house. No one else has been welcome since.
In the past, Michael kills the drunk driver who ran down his family. He uses that to bring forth one of the more advanced spells. That is, summoning one of the necromancer's familiars. Then he summons another. Later, when Jacob's family moves into Echling Manor, the servants of the necromancer are all present.
In the present, Sarah and Jacob confront the necromancer too early; Jacob loses his sword and they lose Jill. The necromancer invokes night, and the zombies rise. Jacob goes to meet the necromancer in Echling Manor.
Will anyone get out alive?
Cinematography: 6/10 Fine most of the time. Occasionally, as in the tombs under the town, the mob made of CGI looks totally fake, which it is. Unfortunately, it's horribly fake. Demerits for shaky camera and out of focus passages.
Sound: 8/10 Well recorded at least, with some reasonably creepy incidental music.
Acting: 2/10 Brad Dourif has been in some bad films over his 38+ years of acting. He has also had many much, much better roles than this; The Lord of the Rings comes to mind. Veteran character actress Elaine Hendrix has had 20 years of better roles in television, plus some movies. The rest of the cast I do not recognise and expect that I never will recognise, since they seem to be non-actors. Hallee Hirsh is a terribly bad actress, and Jordan Andrews is just as useless. Also, the 24-year-old Hirsh (as of 2011) looks much older than her age, and has no business playing a teenager.
Screenplay: 2/10 Yikes. Worse conversation than one would find in a bad original high school play. Bad dialog, horrible exposition, sad logical failures, hundreds of continuity errors. The beginning to middle to end progression goes somewhat well, but the rotten dialog and horrible acting ruin the film.
When it comes to horror movie lists, Fading of the Cries was the only one that almost approached the same uniformity on worst-of lists that plagued Hellraiser: Revelations. And Fading of the Cries is indeed that horrific, though in an entirely different way than Revelations is; everything about this movie is simply wrong, in ways that make no semblance of sense.
Fading of the Cries does in fact have a plot, though I'm unsure I can relay it to you in any coherent fashion (this is because the script cannot, and even the synopsis listed on IMDB only gives the barest bones of this mess: there's Jacob (Jordan Matthews in his screen debut). Jacob has a sword, and his main job seems to be fighting Matthias (Death Machine's Brad Dourif), a necromancer (side note: the consistent mispronunciation of the word "necromancer" in this movie is the funniest/most painful thing about it) who's after an amulet currently owned by Sarah (You've Got Mail's Hallee Hirsh), whose father, it seems, stole it from Matthias some years ago. Despite all this (which takes up roughly the first seven-eighths of the movie), it seems the actual main character of the thing was supposed to be Jill (7th Heaven's Mackenzie Rosman), Sarah's younger sister, who if nothing else is the movie's best-drawn (and funniest, though always unintentionally) character.
Which makes no sense until you actually sit through the thing, and please, for the love of peaches, if you value your sanity, I can only say one thing: don't. This is a movie that makes no sense not only in its execution but in its conception. The guy who wrote the score seems to have thought (or been told) that he was writing the soundtrack to a Hallmark Original Movie (an extra-inspirational one to boot). Metcalf , turning in his first feature, does his level best to make sure that every piece of miscasting to be found here is exploited to the very limits of its potential for confusion, which is also a fine description of the viewer's reaction to Brad Rushing (Shrieker)'s puzzling, sometimes ridiculous, choices with the cinematography. In other words, the only reason I'm giving this movie half a star is that I finished watching it, for reasons that shall forever remain unknown to me. Please don't make the same mistake. 1/2