Directed by Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler
Starring David Beard
Almost great "mockumentary" film gained a lot of attention after the awesome success of "The Blair Witch Project."
Reportedly produced before "Blair Witch," the first three thirds of this film are uncannily similar. In 1995, the two hosts of a cable access show called "Fact or Fiction" (played by directors Avalos and Weiler) head off into the woods of New Jersey with a supposed psychic (Jim Seward) who claims he can lead them to the legendary "Jersey Devil." Only the psychic came back alive.
This part of the film comes across a lot like an episode of PBS’ "Frontline," with a narrator explaining the events leading up to the murder and using footage taken during the trip. When a new box of unused footage mysteriously turn up on the door step of the producer/narrator of this new documentary, the film’s suspense builds as we wait to see what a video engineer can make of the new footage.
Tragically, things go downhill from there.
Avalos and Weiler added a twist ending to the film that simply doesn’t work. If the joy of watching a movie—particularly a horror movie—is that blissful experience of "suspending disbelief," this movie gives us that feeling for its first two thirds, then annoyingly jars us out of it at the very end. What a letdown.
Watching the first part of this movie, I was excited to see a "mockumentary" that came close to matching the greatness of "The Blair Witch Project." It almost looked like a kick-ass new horror genre was being born. In the end, my disappointment matched my excitement. A build up has to deliver. This one didn’t. Ultimately, I have to recommend this movie, but go into it knowing the ending is a letdown.
Young filmmakers Avalos and Weiler are certainly major talents and it will be interesting to see what projects they cook up in the future.
-- Review by Lucius Gore