First things first I should really give a shout out to website regular Judd Carey on bringing this title to my attention – never even heard of it before he mailed me the other day!
Come to think of it – there’s a few title’s I’ve reviewed on here that are down to his Found Footage detective work!
Anyways, The Rohl Farms Haunting is a little known 2013 release by director, writer AND actor Cordero Roman.
A pretty much zero-budget offering as far as I could tell, was it worth my time?
Let’s take a closer look…
Two 21 year old friends, Codero Roman and Luke Rohl, end up missing after filming a documentary in Wisconsin in 2012.
The police are completely stumped as to what happened to them until a DVD marked ‘PLAY ME’ turns up on their doorstep.
This is the footage that was contained within the mysterious DVD…
By the time the film had finished I had built up a degree of respect for what the main actors had managed to pull off in this film – something tells me this was their first time on the big screen.
Luke Rohl ends up providing a pretty believable performance as the run down farmer trying everything in his power to keep his property in check.
To begin with I thought he was an incredibly strange choice for lead character – he couldn’t seem to speak clearly and I constantly had the feeling he was talking with food in his mouth!
But after a while I sort of warmed to this natural ‘hick’ feeling about his character – it ended up working pretty well within the film’s boundaries.
Unfortunately Codero Roman managed to bring Rohl’s performance down on more than one occasion.
I’m not saying that Roman was a bad actor – he just made the ‘flow’ a little uncomfortable at times.
Unfortunately various clips of the dialog between Cordero and Luke comes across as contrived and that trend repeats throughout the film.
Certain scenes ended up feeling unnecessary due to this difficult or awkward dialog between the two.
I don’t think there was enough of a base to plant this story line on really – there is a hint at a previous backstory but the film chooses not to let us in on that.
Was this a sequel to another low budget Found Footage?
Does this backstory have anything to do with the frequent tension between Rohl and Roman?
Your guess is as good as mine!
I also felt that the film missed a trick when it came to the ‘fright factor’. The rural farm setting was perfect for a few jumpy moments but they didn’t really come.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a certain creepiness to proceedings…but no real ‘scares’ overall.
However, Cordero does manage to inject a degree of authenticity to proceedings with his overall cinematography.
Near the start of the film we find out that he is some sort of film student and this works well for the rest of the shoot.
Certain scenes have him adjusting the contrast of the camera and mumbling out loud when doing so. He also get’s the ‘run with camera’ scenes pretty much tied up.
But over all the film didn’t manage to build on the setting’s creepiness – it failed to scare me.
The first two thirds of it are concentrated on an EXTREMELY slow build and the climax doesn’t quite hit the notes it’s supposed to.
It’s the type of film that only a Found Footage fan will enjoy – everyone else is going to hate it!
Not bad, worth a watch, but don’t expect anything ground breaking!
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