INTERIOR *** U.S.A. 2014 Dir: Zachary Beckler 82 mins
Opening unpromisingly with one of those irritating (yet irritatingly credible) moments in which an endangered, terrified character still finds time to update his Facebook status, writer-director Zachary Beckler’s film finds some effective riffs on the vastly over-crowded post-PARANORMAL ACTIVITY found-footage ghost movie. It’s a one-night, largely one-character chiller in which budding filmmaker Sam (Christopher Carullo) is hired to capture on film the paranormal presence haunting the lives of a young couple and their daughter. Refreshingly, this is a formally conventional movie that happens to incorporate “found footage” via the many cameras Sam sets up around the house.
After some goofing around and a fake caught-on-camera ghost, Sam is a rare male horror lead who is genuinely spooked by the unfolding events. For much of the film, we watch his character watching, editing and being freaked out by his own footage. Director Beckler sustains an eerie ambience and is smart enough to realise that lingering glimpses of dark figures in doorways carry more weight than a hundred noisy jump scares; when the movie becomes more blatant in its efforts to scare, it loses impact. Carullo is an engaging enough lead by the poor standards of this sub-genre, and there are nice comic touches – notably the sequence in which the hero keeps a pizza delivery guy (played by Beckler) talking just to have a bit of company in spooky circumstances.
Review by Steven West