Banshee Chapter (2013)★★★★★


I really, really like this movie. The first time I watched it was on a big TV in a dark room and it scared the crap out of me. There are a lot of jump scares in this one, but they don’t feel cheap. The tension has already been built up and so the jump scares feel like just a relief rather than comic relief.

This is a story “based on actual events” that genuinely does something original. I appreciate that it poses a bunch of questions but then answers them as well. There are times when it’s appropriate to leave something to your audience’s imaginations, but I feel that many films use it as a crutch instead of a statement. This movie has an opinion and doesn’t leave you feeling unsatisfied at the end.

Oh, and did I mention it has Ted Levine? I love Ted Levine. I want to say I’ve loved him since I first saw The Silence of the Lambs, but I worry that may say more about me than I’m ready to admit (oops?). Anyway, he’s excellent in this movie. And he wasn’t the only one. I didn’t recognize many other faces, but everyone was great. The dialogue was well written and the story was interesting, but the cast are what really made this movie excellent.

That and the subtle background music. Oh, there are bits of this that are done as a documentary that I think work pretty well for this film. I feel like providing most of the background exposition that way allows the bulk of the film to focus on character development and scaring the crap out of you instead of providing context.

Anyway, this is a good movie. It’s not too graphic, but it’s pretty scary, so maybe don’t watch it alone…or at least leave a light on?