Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Release Review - 8213 : Gacy House



John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978 in suburban Chicago. 26 bodies were found in a crawl space beneath his house and 3 others were buried in the backyard. Although the house was completely demolished during the exhumation of the bodies, on May 15, 2004 a group of paranormal investigators wired the home that was built in its place with paranormal detection and surveillance equipment. The outcome of the investigation was grisly, terrifying and disturbing.

Billed as actual footage recovered from an actual crime scene, 8213 : Gacy House is yet another installment in the found footage sub-genre of horror that films like The Blair Witch Project and most recently REC and Paranormal Activity have made so popular. It's a type of film that has been absolutely done to death in recent years, but 8213 puts a unique spin on it, throwing real life serial killer John Wayne Gacy into the 'we've seen it all before' formula, making this one somewhat of a fresh and inventive take on the concept .... somewhat. It's also a pretty well done installment within the sub-genre, with mostly solid acting throughout that helps sell it all as believable as well as a few genuinely effective scares. It gets a little silly at times, with one particular character cheapening the proceedings by having her massive fake breasts exposed several times in very lame attempts to add some sex appeal to a movie that needs absolutely none, but it's a pretty well done movie all around, especially considering the company it comes from ; The Asylum, a company that has built their name on a string of blatant ripoffs of Hollywood hits with titles like Snakes on a Train, Paranormal Entity and Hillside Cannibals. Make no mistake, Gacy House is, like much of their catalogue, a ripoff of several different found footage horror flicks from years past (AKA all of the ones mentioned above), but the inclusion of John Wayne Gacy in the mix really spices things up and helps set it apart a bit from the pack. Truth be told, if the exact same movie were just about some random evil spirit and not Gacy, I probably wouldn't have cared all that much for it. Aside from this unique premise, it really doesn't bring anything new to the table, but that idea of the ghost of the clown faced Gacy running around killing people was enough to sit my ass on the couch, hold my interest and keep me entertained throughout.

If you're not yet sick of the whole handheld found footage thing, give this one a watch. It's without question one of the better things The Asylum has ever put out.


Jack Veasey said...

That's an interesting idea for a film. Gacy scares the hell out of me -- I'm one of those people who has a fear of clowns anyway, and as a real-life clown serial killer, he occupies an especially disturbing spot in my imagination.

Johnny said...

Definitely check it out and let me know what ya think, Jack.