Director: Eugene McGing
Cast:Robert Daws, Nick Julian, Lisa Kerr
Running Time: 90 minutes
Ever since The Blair Witch Project we’ve been inundated with ‘found-footage’ films about students investigating ghostly goings-on. Some have been great, some plain awful, and some like the latest Frightfest Presents offering The Unfolding, just a bit vanilla.
The narrative follows a paranormal researcher and his girlfriend as they spend time in a house buried deep within the wilds of Dartmoor. Once set up the couple realise that they might not be alone and enlist the help of their professor and his medium friend to try and rid the house, and themselves, of a dark and vicious entity.
If it sounds like something you’ve seen before then that’s because it pretty much is. The plot follows the same structure as every film that has come before in the genre which is disappointing. The Unfolding does try to inject a bit of spark however, and sets the story in October 2016, aka ‘the future’. This future Britain is one on the brink of nuclear war, the nightly radio news broadcasts pointing to the end of the United Kingdom as we know it. It’s an interesting idea and gives the film an accidental ‘documenting of the end of the world’ vibe, but sadly the rest of the film isn’t as inventive and it struggles to keep the viewer engaged.
The camera placement makes it hard to connect with our cast of characters. The usual handheld found-footage style is replaced by a CCTV style set up, which gives us scope of the whole building, but means that we never really get to see who our main cast are up close and personal. This disconnect makes it a struggle to develop any attachment to those on screen meaning that the audience never truly feels invested in the unfolding events.
That being said there are a couple of good scares within The Unfolding, mainly through some well thought out sound design. Suddenly from out of nowhere our ears are invaded by the sounds of a babies screams, and an unexpected visitor during the obligatory seance scene makes the hairs on your arms stand on end. The creepiest visuals happen during the opening moments as our couple wander through the misty moors and we see glimpses of something or someone lurking on the hillside. Were the rest of the film to be more in line with this then The Unfolding could’ve been something truly special. Instead it’s a rather vanilla retreading of a time old tale.
The Unfolding is available to download on via Frightfest Presents from Monday 14th March.
Catch up with all our Frightfest Presents reviews here.