In Memorium is not a new movie, but it has been released on VOD now and definitely deserves your attention!
It’s no secret that In Memorium was inspired by the found footage idea of The Blair Witch Project. However, this movie was made before Paranormal Activity came out, and in my opinion, it is at least as good. This is very low-budget, but as we’ve already seen with movies like The Break-In and Decay this doesn’t mean the movie isn’t very entertaining. In fact, recently I’ve been more disappointed with movies that have huge budgets, but no heart.
In Memorium definitely has heart, and more importantly – when it comes to good filmmaking anyway – it has a good story and actors that can carry the story. Whenever there’s virtually no budget, the story and acting become paramount. Amazingly, this movie manages what many blockbusters can’t: It describes the premise along the way and sticks with it.
As we all know, found footage movies can be great and believable on a very small budget (like The Break-In). Or they tend to be pretty stupid because it doesn’t make sense that people would run around with a handheld video camera while being chased and shot at. When it comes to In Memorium, the very basis for the movie is the fact that a man, Dennis (Erik McDowell) is dying and since he’s a filmmaker, he wants to capture his final days on this Earth. This is why he puts cameras all around the house, and while explaining the various cameras to his girlfriend, Lily, we [the audience] also get the explanation. I.e. the fact that they’re motion sensored, so they’re not on all the time.
There’s even a fun little scene right at the beginning, where Lily (Johanna Watts) is peeing and is painfully aware that she’s being recorded and accordingly annoyed with the cameras. Of course, there are a lot of emotions in this story due to the fact that it centers around a man, who knows he’s dying. And very soon. Also, this means his girlfriend is about to lose the man she loves, and his estranged brother also starts spending time with him. This is when we find out that their mom passed away recently and that she wasn’t exactly full of warm and fuzzy feelings. In other words, their childhood sucked in many ways.
The most simple effects are still the best
There are no crazy special effects in this movie. In Memorium is all about the basic creepiness of feeling like something is there with you. Oh yeah, and also the simple effects of finding something recorded that shouldn’t be possible. Overall, the acting is really good. There were a few scenes that missed the mark a bit acting-wise, but nothing major, and often it can be the sound quality that interferes more with your perception than the actors’ performance.
The movie was written and directed by Amanda Gusack, and I really wish I could say she already has more movies on the way, but sadly that’s not the case right now. She did, however, write and direct The Betrayed after this one. The Betrayed came out in 2008 and starred Melissa George and Oded Fehr (Carlos in several Resident Evil movies). It had a decent budget and got pretty good reviews.
Honestly, other than the dated haircuts and screen format of In Memorium, there’s nothing to indicate this movie isn’t a brand-new low-budget production, so the re-release on VOD is very relevant. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more from Amanda Gusack, when people watch this movie and realize she’s one fine suspense and horror director.
In Memorium is out on VOD and you can even watch it for free if you have Amazon Prime.
Director: Amanda Gusack
Writer: Amanda Gusack
Cast: Erik McDowell, Johanna Watts, Levi Powell
Struggling filmmaker Dennis Wade rents a house with his girlfriend to document his final days, after having received a grim diagnosis. As soon as they’ve moved in, his cameras capture an unexplained presence in the house.
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