Chancing my arm again in the realm of found footage has brought me to The Taking of Deborah Logan. This film retains a level of realism that was almost entirely missing with The Poughkeepsie Tapes, utilising the backstory of making a documentary on a sufferer of Alzheimers disease. Mia (Michelle Ang), Gavin (Brett Gentile) and Luis (Jeremy DeCarlos) are the crew responsible along with Deborah (Jill Larson) herself and her daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay), who has managed to persuade her mother that they need to do this to stop their family home being repossessed.
As with most found footage films, the burn is slow but picks up pace as the film progresses and generally gets much more insane. Being brought into the world of realism is the first part that makes these films effective. Once that is done, the insanity towards the end is that much more effective. Here, the descent into madness feels a little bit of a stretch and is a little bit signposted but it doesn’t detract from the overall sense of dread of how engrossed you are in the journey these people are taking. And that is surely one of the main goals of a relatively cheaply made found footage film.
The performances are really restrained for the most part, again adding to the realism, and effective in transmitting the ever growing sense of unknowing as Deborah’s disease progresses faster than they expect it to. There aren’t many jump scares in this, instead using the growing sense of unease and incredulity at the things that are slowly occurring around this frail old lady who struggles to remember things.
Overall Adam Robitel’s film is effective and entertaining and doesn’t outstay its welcome. Showing that restraint in how far to push and how fast to escalate things pays off.