"The Taking of Deborah Logan" (2014) is a found-footage horror film directed by Adam Robitel. The film is about a student making a documentary about Alzheimer’s disease. The student, Mia (Michelle Ang), along with her crew Luis (Jeremy DeCarlos) and Gavin (Brett Gentile), are using Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) as the subject of their film. Deborah’s daughter, Sarah (Anne Ramsay), convinces the wary Deborah to allow Mia to film her because they desperately need the money. After some time filming Deborah’s day-to-day life, Sarah, Mia, and the crew begin to suspect Deborah is suffering from something much worse than any disease.
In case I haven’t mentioned it before in any written form: I am NOT a fan of found-footage horror films. There are a select few – two, to be exact – that I actually like and watch regularly. It simply is not one of my favorite subgenres of horror.
That being said, "The Taking of Deborah Logan" is not the worst found-footage film I have ever seen. It’s actually quite good until we reach the end of the film.
Overall, the camera work in this film is much steadier and less jerky than most other films of this subgenre. It’s refreshing to watch a found-footage film where you can actually see what is going on during the frightening parts, as opposed to seeing a whirl of colors and lights accompanied by loud noises that let us know we are meant to be scared.
The thing I like best about this film is the comparison between a demonic/ghostly possession and Alzheimer’s (or any mentally degenerative disease, really). In the earlier scenes of this film, the filmmakers blur the lines between a possession and an actual disease. You could easily attribute Deborah’s symptoms to her progressing Alzheimer’s or the spirit that is possessing her. To me, this makes real diseases that much scarier and more frightening. I really appreciate when horror filmmakers bring the horror to the real world. We realize there is no escape from these terrors.
The part that lost me was the ending of the film. Sarah and Mia discover that Deborah may have known a man, Henry Dejardins (Kevin A Campbell), back when she was a telephone operator. Dejardins sought eternal life, and he was ritualistically killing young girls in order to gain immortality. Before he could kill the final girl and complete his ritual, he disappeared without a trace. And the killings stopped.
Turns out, Sarah was meant to be the last girl, Deborah found this out and took Dejardins out herself.
I’m fine with this. Now we have a connection between Deborah and the spirit possessing her. Makes sense.
I about lost it when Sarah and Mia chase Deborah/Dejardins, who has kidnapped a young girl to complete the ritual, into a cave system. When they find Deborah/Dejardins, her jaw is detached and she is attempting to swallow the young girl.
That was just a little too random for me. Why is Deborah trying to swallow her? I don’t get it.
And the scene following this where the kidnapped girl is being interviewed by a reporter and delivers a creepy smile to the camera to close the movie. Because of course, now she is possessed and we will probably get a crappy sequel.
I had high hopes for this film until the ending. Technically speaking, this is a very easy found-footage film to watch. For those out there that get sick or dizzy watching these kinds of films, you don’t really need to worry about that with this one. The story, however, left something to be desired.
Share your thoughts on "The Taking of Deborah Logan" in the comments section below! You can also find my review of the film here: