Welcome to Mind Control Month | Possession Week – Day 2. We’re moving right along with the demonic possession films I haven’t seen yet. Next up, we’re taking a look at The Taking of Deborah Logan, which you’ve probably seen around. It’s that movie with a blood-red poster of a creepy old woman with serious hair problems. Heck, I thought it was the same creepy old lady at the beginning of Shutter Island that whispers “shh!”. It’s not, by the way. So what was this mockumentary film all about? Let’s take a look at the plot.
What starts as a poignant medical documentary about Deborah Logan’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her daughter’s struggles as caregiver degenerates into a maddening portrayal of dementia at its most frightening, as hair-raising events begin to plague the family and crew and an unspeakable malevolence threatens to tear the very fabric of sanity from them all. – IMDb
A couple of the films I’m reviewing this week are filmed mockumentary style – not to be confused with found footage. Both are filmed in first-person with people speaking directly into the camera, but mockumentary is filmed differently…more professionally if you can call it that. The Taking of Deborah Logan had a pretty decent start, as the acting and cinematography were all pretty decent…but like most of the films this week, it all sort of falls into absurdity – and none of that really brings anything new to the table. I’ll say this much – the poster is scarier than the actual movie.
Once again, this is all just first impressions. So, how did the rest of the movie do? Let’s go ahead and break down The Taking of Deborah Logan to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 5/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 1
Come on, people. You know when it comes to horror films, we need to care about the characters in order to actually worry about them! That means you need to have memorable characters that are acted really well and have the greatest chemistry ever! Not here. The acting was mediocre. While it does have range, it’s not a believable range. Character-wise, you may remember Deborah Logan, but you aren’t going to remember her family or the people doing the documentary. As for the importance? I would maybe put the importance on the people doing the documentary, but they all work as one entity, so only half points for the importance. Same thing with chemistry. There’s really not any chemistry. Even for the family members and colleagues. It’s not bad chemistry, just non-existent.
WRITING SCORE – 2/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 0|Story – 0|Originality – 0|Interesting – 1
Next, we’re taking a look at the writing category, which really scored a pretty low score. Why? Well, let’s take a look. As far as dialogue is concerned, it’s all pretty typical and expected, so I’ll give half points for that. Also, I’d say that the film is interesting enough to watch, but everything in the film also sort of turns you away and confuses you – so, only half points for that. Everything else was noticeably bad. Was this a balanced film? It should have been, but it turned into something overly convoluted. You’ll be a little confused as to which story to follow. The creature that Deborah paints that’s watching her from outside of her window that she is always watching with a dead stare, the mass murder side story, the actual Alzheimer’s and dementia story, or the kid from the hospital story that is revisited a couple of times randomly. It’s just incredibly aimless, which brings me to the story. The story could’ve been better if they just focused on one story, instead, it’s confusing and you’re left wondering what the point was in the end, so zero points for the story, as well. It’s also utterly unoriginal. It feels like we’ve seen it a billion times before, and maybe that’s the case because this ended up being quite the forgettable horror flick.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
I guess we’ve got an okay score when it comes to behind-the-scenes, which got perfect scores in its editing and advertisement subcategories. The editing was done well because you have to consider the first half a mockumentary, which feels as such, and the rest is the unedited section once the madness ensued – so it feels more like found footage – and all the random cuts that accompany that to make it feel like it really is found footage. It’s also as-advertised, so that’s definitely helpful. The visuals were typical, save for one little scene towards the end. The directing was as expected, nothing challenging there. Finally, there wasn’t anything about the music or sound that really stood out.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 1|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2
Alrighty, so now we look at the narrative arc score, which was okay. The introduction was fine, as it set up the characters, setting, and the current state of things. The inciting incident is when Deborah Logan eventually agrees to let the film team film her story. There were obstacles, but they really didn’t seem to have to do with anything – so only half points there. The climax felt rather anticlimactic because there didn’t seem to be a culmination of everything else, it just seemed to be something else. The falling action and return to a new norm are mostly in place, though, so I’ll give that full points.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 0/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 0|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 0
So, how entertaining was The Taking of Deborah Logan? Well, in my opinion, it’s really not entertaining at all. Everything here got zero points. I wouldn’t dare rewatch it again because it’s way too convoluted, so I was way too confused watching this film, and that confusion got in the way of me ever having fun with the film or ever getting sucked in. Because of all that, I don’t care to buy it, own it, or even talk to others about it who have maybe never heard of it before. So…yeah, this film really wasn’t all that entertaining.
SPECIALTY TOTAL – 15/50
Mind Control Month – 5|Possession Week – 5|Horror – 0|Mystery – 0|Halfway Decent – 5
We now move onto the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film, and once again, we have an unbelievably low score. First up, this is mind control month, so how was this as a mind control film? Well, I can’t say it’s not there, because it certainly is, in a way, but for the most part, it was more focused on the possibility of being dementia or Alzheimer’s, so only half points there. How was this film as a possession film? Same thing as before, half points. This is a horror film, so how scary was it? Like I said before, the poster is scarier than the actual film, zero points. It’s also classified as a mystery, so how was that? I would say it would be just fine had they focused on one simple story, but because they didn’t, I lost all interest and stopped even noticing the mystery angle. Zero points. Finally, was this film halfway decent? I would say that the beginning was, but nothing else, so half points there.