Thursday, June 9, 2011

my very brief thoughts on.... '8213: Gacy House'

When 'The Blair Witch Project' came out, the whole "found fottage" phenomenom was brand new. Now days, it's everywhere. It's an inexpensive way to make your first movie and a lot of people are taking advantage of that. Some have been pretty effective, then there's '8213: Gacy House'. I'm not saying it's ineffective, but it is not as good as some of the others movies like this that i've seen. I do feel like it's kind of in bad taste to use the tragedy of John Wayne Gacy's crimes as a backdrop for this movie. I can't think of any movies that have used the ghost of a real serial killer as the main villan. I remember the whole John Wayne Gacy story. I was alive when it all went down and even celebrated on the night of his death with friends. Because of all that, I have to say I felt this was a little bit in bad taste. Granted, there is a pretty big niche market for movies that are being made about serial killers. There are a few examples of big budget ones, like 'Zodiac' by David Fincher. Then there are countless others that are made on a low budget and for the lowest common reasons. Like 'Dahmer', 'Gacy', 'Bundy', etc. I've seen some of these and for the most part they're exactly what you'd expect. Direct to DVD stuff that is just made to cash in on a famous name. Some of them feature big named b-grade actors and same make the careers of future actors. Case in point: 'Dahmer' starred a young Jeremy Renner. I felt like he was the only worthwhile aspect of that movie. He brought that character to life and now look at him. He's quickly becoming the toast of Hollywood. Anyway, I'm off track. '8213: Gacy House' is less about the real events of his life, but more about the fictional events of his afterlife.

This is the basic breakdown of the plot from both and "A group of paranormal investigators enter the abandoned home of pedophile and serial killer John Gacy, hoping to find evidence of paranormal activity. Upon entering the house they set-up cameras throughout the abandoned house while going room to room with hand-held cameras, performing séances and asking for John Gacy to come forward. As the evening progresses it seems the investigators are not prepared for the horror still within the house. Although Gacy's house of horrors has long since been demolished, with another house erected in its place, the tortured spirits of his 33 victims seem to be alive and well." I can say that this is pretty much the exact storyline. 6 people walk into a supposed haunted house of a former serial killer to find out the truth about the hauntings and no one walks out alive. This is the fottage of that night found later. BOO!

Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of these kinds of movies. 'The Blair Witch Project' even made it into my 'Top 50 Films Of All Time' list. There is something eerie about them. I've always been fascinated by ghosts and realized a long time ago that we might not ever have real proof of paranormal activty caught on camera. Therefore, these types of movies are the closest thing to that for me. I felt kind of dirty watching this because of what it was cashing in on, but at the same time I was looking forward to seeing it as it looked like a decent example of the found fottage genre. It reminded me quite a bit of 'Death of a Ghost Hunter' in the feel of the movie. I'm pretty sure it was in the same budget as well. It's OnDemand right now and may or may not be worth your time, but I don't recommend you renting it.

What I liked about this movie was the cast, they were pretty good. I liked the location, it was pretty effective for a ghost story. I liked the cinematography, it was fairly well done for this kind of movie. What I didn't like, was the fact that the house looked damn good for being abandonded for so long. I also didn't like the fact that this isn't the original house (as it was no longer around) but a rebuilt house. The cast still treated it like it was the original house that the crimes occured in. It overall just just felt kind of off. I'm not 100% sure why that is, perhaps it was the ghost in his 'wife beater' shirt and tighty whitey's attacking one of the victims. Who knows? For taking a new spin on an old genre, I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. I may be being generous or perhaps it's something else. Either way, you're watching this movie at your own risk. I am not planning on seeing it again at any point. Perhaps the next movie from these people will be better, perhaps it will be about spending the night in the apartment across from where Jefery Dahmer lived in Michigan! OOOO, scary. I'll stick with my 'Paranormal' Activity' and the like.

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