Reel Evil (2012)

reelevilIt’s surprising it took this long for Full Moon Features to jump aboard the found-footage bandwagon, since the horror subgenre thrives on an element that is the low-budget production company’s specialty: cheapness.

Reel Evil centers on a three-man crew of struggling filmmakers, headed by the practical, beautiful Kennedy (Jessica Morris, Role Models). James (Jeff Adler) runs camera, while sound is handled by Cory (Mega Python vs. Gatoroid‘s Kaiwi Lyman, who looks like a real-life Thor). They’re hired to shoot behind-the-scenes footage for a horror movie being lensed in an abandoned insane asylum in downtown Los Angeles.

reelevil1Connected by tunnels, the sprawling complex makes for built-in ambience for a backstory of a doctor whose mental patients harbored cannibalistic tendencies. Of course, ghosts of these guys pop in and out, strongly echoing 1999’s House on Haunted Hill remake and more effective when practical vs. computer-generated.

In typical Full Moon fashion, director/co-writer Danny Draven (2002’s DeathBed) finds a way to wedge a great deal of wholly gratuitous nudity into the works, yet somehow lucks upon a recipe that’s more fun and fulfilling than the bulk of its Handycam brethren. Being concise sure counts, as the show stops at the 72-minute mark, seguing into a terrific title sequence clearly influenced by Seven. That said, keep expectations low, as you should with each and every found-footage film. —Rod Lott

Buy it at Amazon.

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