Sunday, 31 January 2016

the taking

also known as the taking of deborah logan, this film takes the form of a phd student's project on alzheimer's disease. mia (michelle ang) takes a small film crew to the house of deborah logan (jill larson) where she is greeted by deborah's carer, her daughter, sarah (anne ramsay). the crew install cameras all over the house and they begin to film deborah's struggle with the disease, although it soon becomes apparent that it's not just alzheimer's taking deborah's mind but something else entirely.

this is another film that's hard to describe without ruining the plot, but there are definitely some surprises here. to be honest, alzheimer's is a terrifying enough concept on its own and the film does a great job portraying that, but once you add supernatural forces to the problem things quickly become so much worse. there are some truly creepy moments in this film and whenever deborah wanders off on her own at night there's some tension in anticipating what she'll be doing when they find her. sometimes she's out in the garden digging holes in the ground, sometimes she's staring out of windows at invisible strangers, and then sometimes there are snakes, lots of snakes.

like most really good horror films the thing that really makes the taking work is the development of the characters. while the film crew are key, the most important character in the film is sarah, deborah's daughter. it's through sarah that we see what having a parent who's suffering can do to a person, and the lengths they will go to in order to save her. while jill larson should be praised for her incredibly brave performance as deborah, anne ramsay's take on sarah is the most genuine element of the film and really holds everything together.

as a general note, one aspect of this film that i really appreciated is that it's a film about women doing stuff. not only do we have mia, sarah and deborah but deborah's doctor and the town sheriff are women too. i wonder if that ties into the story somehow, because ultimately this is a film about mothers and daughters. deborah mentions on a couple of occasions that she's disappointed with how sarah grew up, and while most of that stems from sarah's homosexuality (how refreshing to have a middle-aged lesbian as the lead character in a film) i wondered if the three other women - the phd student, the doctor, the sheriff - represented other roles sarah could have chosen in life. it doesn't really matter, because the important thing to note is that when everything kicks off the four people trying to sort it out are all women and that's something you never see in movies.

i thought the taking had everything you need from a found footage film - it was creepy, it had a good set-up and there were a few surprises, plus some amazing effects work towards the end. the fact that it's film in which women get to do all the stuff is an added bonus.

the found footage blogathon will run from 27th january to 3rd february, in which time i plan to review as many films as possible and maybe throw in a few extras as well. if you'd like to be involved and post your own content, send me a link via twitter with the tag #foundfootageblogathon. i'll retweet your link and will include it in a summary post next week. you can find a full list of the films i'll be reviewing here.

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