VOODOO ** U.S.A. 2017 Dir: Tom Costabile 93 mins
Southern belle, Dani (Samantha Stewart) arrives in LA for a month stay with her cousin Stacey (Ruth Reynolds), basically to get away from her life in New Orleans. She recently found out that her Ex was actually married, not only that but she finds out the wife is some kind of crazy Voodoo lady who has cursed Dani to Hell. The girls do not believe this of course and just decide to enjoy life in LA and Dani has brought along her camera to film her vacation for her family back home.
This is shot in a found footage kind of way which does work for the first half if only it wasn’t so slow to get going and if the two cousins weren’t so annoyingly squeaky. You have to put up with a lot of them partying; smoking pot, drinking and a random appearance from Ron Jeremy hitting on Dani before anything of any interest happens. Eventually things start to happen and when they do, believe me when I say everything fucking happens!! It starts off with some odd drumming noises from downstairs, then flashing lights and a mysterious black figure with red glowing eyes appears, Dani freaks out and legs it out of the room but not forgetting her trusty camera which, of course is still rolling. After discovering her cousin is possessed and other house mates mauled she is transported to Hell where she is subjected to torture, if you can call it that, then accompanied through various rooms where unspeakable acts of demonic indulgence are being carried out. New born babies are consumed, priests sodomised, you name it it’s there, by the way this is all still being filmed on her camera but Dani herself no longer has it. It must now be in the hands of some obliging hellion or something?! All the while this is going on Dani is being harassed by these odd Vampire/Troll beings that just seem to growl a lot and climb all over her whilst she screams and sort of flaps her arms about a bit. This all culminates in her final ordeal of being raped by the Devil in front of his Vampire/Troll minions. After this indignity she is apparently free to go, so naturally she picks up her camera (!!!!) and crawls back into reality wherein the movie ends in one of the worst possible ways. As you may have guessed I am not a fan of this at all. The over the top, lets throw every conceivable torture/shock scene we can at them to get a response was amusing and probably its only redeeming feature but there was very little gore save for a few disembowelling’s and the odd dismembered corpse. The found footage element was awful, when it got to the Hell scenes it just didn’t work at all. I also fail to see what any of it really had to do with actual voodoo. There was a scene right at the start of the film of a crazed chanting lady ranting over the body of a small girl but that was never touched on again during the rest of the movie, and the curse was placed on Dani in New Orleans where voodoo originated but that’s about it. The acting was mediocre; the character of Dani was really annoying and grates on you very quickly. The acting from the monsters in Hell was also incredibly awkward, at times it felt like you were being shown around some kind of cheap backward Halloween scare attraction where the actors cant come near you, the camera lingered on them way too long for them to be considered scary. The dialogue was disappointing, the effects failed to entertain and the soundtrack wasn’t great, pretty much non existent towards the end. I tell you what though I bet that was one hell of a holiday video to show the folks when she got home!!
Review by Sarah Budd