I spend many hours fumbling my way through YouTube on the lookout for new indie horror projects. During this process I recently stumbled across a feature length Found Footage effort based on a Pasadena haunted house.
The Blaylock House looked like it ticked all the boxes so I got myself comfortable and hit the play button…
The director of this Pasadena haunted house yarn is apparently the same guy who created the HBO cult series Carnivále ( Daniel Knauf ). Now I sat through two seasons of that series and I have to admit – it wasn’t really that good!
But I’m not one to hold grudges so I went into this Found Footage offering with eyes wide open – I was sincerely hoping to enjoy the experience.
The film starts off with a title screen telling us we are witnessing events from:
South Pasadena Police Department Interrogation Room #6
This seems to be one of the fail-safe ways to start a Found Footage film so I had no problems with it. I was suddenly hit by the extremely poor sound quality of the events taking place inside this interrogation room.
I don’t want to be picky but I actually studied Audio Engineering in Holland many years ago and this was pretty bad sound. It was extremely ‘tinny’ and sounded like it had been recorded underwater.
It turns out that the actual indie cinematography of this film was pretty shitty to – every camera angle was grainy and amateur. This might of been on purpose or this might of been down to the fact that there was no budget to spend.
Either way – it didn’t make the film look that welcoming.
I must say that I really did struggle with the plot for the first 30 minutes or so of this film. There is an opening sequence that explains the history of the house covering past owners, links to the occult etc etc. But this opening sequence sort of failed to explain to me what the team were doing inside the house.
Anyway I’ll do my best to explain whats what with the limited info the film gave me…
We have a group of paranormal investigators somehow gaining access to this Pasadena haunted house. They are accompanied by what I assume is the current owner of the house.
Now this guy seems to have anger issues right from the start of the film and he doesn’t get much better as the story moves along ( he gets a lot worse! ). I hated this character and felt he was over-acted throughout – nobody is that angry all the time surely?
After a few scenes we find ourselves in a group situation where each of the members stand up to introduce themselves. This was a bit of a relief for me as I was still a little confused on who was who.
Unfortunately this relief was short lived as halfway through the ‘meet and great’ the paranormal activity kicks off!
The group is tormented by voices coming from nowhere in particular and a ghostly figure of a young girl keeps on staring back into the various cameras set up around the house.
Slowly but surely the mood and the sanity of the group starts to descend into darkness…
A Near Miss
This film was actually not all that bad overall – it promised a lot but like so many indie horrors…it just missed!
The ghost hunting techniques seemed pretty realistic and most of the actors were of a decent enough standard. I thought a majority of the scenes were quite convincing overall.
The effects were good without ever being great and they just about supplied enough drama to proceedings. I thought the ghostly female staring back into the camera worked pretty well in the scenes they decided to use her.
The story was decent and evolved well as the film progressed but again something still seemed a little pedestrian about the whole affair – I got bored with the haunting and wanted things to move a little faster.
It’s important to remember that this is essentially a FREE film for anyone to watch online. This means that there was obviously a low, low budget and it was never going to become a CGI festival.
That being said I was still bitterly disappointed with the general level of independent filmmaking on show here – the camerawork and audio were piss poor!
The Location they used for the Pasadena haunted house was also a little disappointing. I was expecting something a little more Gothic looking but instead we have a very modern building that is in the process of renovation.
Reading the comment section below the film on YouTube it would seem that quite a few people thought this film was impressive…I’m afraid I wasn’t one of them!
It’s OK but that’s about it – I have seen better indie efforts online!