Sunday, December 15, 2013
The Crying Dead (2011)(Spoiler review)
**This review contains spoilers**
On November 9, 2008, a team of paranormal investigators, a producer, and two cameramen prepare to shoot the pilot for their reality TV series. Chris Mitchel (Chris Hayes) is the lead investigator, and he receives support from his team of Callie Brooks (Callie Cameron) and Angelina Becker (Angelina Lyubomirova). Becka Lassiter (Becka Adams) is the producer, who’s responsible for everything, while Andrew Halstead (Andrew Olson) and Jeff Pierson (Jeff Stearns) shoot all the footage.
The team takes a trip to an abandoned hospital with a haunted past. Patients were tortured, and years ago, three girls burned to death in a gruesome boiler room fire. Jim Bindle is the caretaker, but he refuses to allow an overnight recording for safety reasons. But Chris refuses to take no for an answer. Chris urges Becka to give the green light, and ignore Bindle’s warnings, but each member of the group must sign a waiver. Chris wants a strong sense of realism for the debut episode, and Chris tempts Becka with promise of higher ratings, so Becka agrees.
After Bindle’s departure, the group forces their way inside through a broken window. Everything is calm and quiet at first, but a series of unexplainable occurrences and disappearances disrupt the show. The crew isn’t alone, because malevolent entities are watching their every move. The dilapidated hospital has a targeted date for demolition, but the forces within are working hard to block every exit. Will the crew make it to sunrise?
There’s no need to waste time by going into a rundown for differentiating the quality of performances here. No one delivers a noteworthy performance, and the entire cast is mediocre at best.
Looking for some good jump scares? Well, you won’t find them here. Instead, The Crying Game relies on a bunch of tired shaky cam tricks to stir up some spooky moments, and this approach didn’t work for me at all, because the shaky cam stuff is really annoying after a while. And I rolled my eyes during the tedious reoccurring scene(s) featuring the deceased girls from the boiler room fire crawling around on the ground.
Stupid characters? Yep. You’ll see all of them here. Chris KNOWS something is wrong, but he intentionally ignores all the warning signs? Becka is supposed to be the responsible one in the group, but she succumbs to peer pressure from Chris, and she ignores warnings from Bindle, someone who knows the history of the hospital better than anyone? Seriously? Oh, and I can’t forget about the idiotic “Let’s split up!” strategy. And of course, when Becka separates from the group, something bad happens. Ugh.
And the plot holes? Oy vey.
-Becka disappears, and she’s attacked by the dead boiler room girls. For some asinine reason, Jeff deliberately lies about Becka’s whereabouts, when a frustrated Chris starts asking questions. I don’t get it. Looking for and trying to find Becka would’ve been a smarter option, right? Because you know, she’s lost in a haunted hospital.
-Who is Elizabeth? The movie opens with a black and white intro of a woman named Elizabeth strapped in a chair, and she’s the victim of shock treatment abuse. Out of nowhere, Elizabeth uses telekinetic powers to attack everyone in the room. Also, it’s heavily implied Elizabeth started the boiler room fire that killed the three girls.
The Crying Dead NEVER offers a detailed explanation for Elizabeth’s past. You have to assume everything, because Chris and everyone else spend most of their time staging fake gags for the show to make everything feel more real? Okay.
To make matters worse, the spooky stuff (I’m being generous) doesn’t kick in until the forty-five minute mark. But don’t get your hopes up for anything that’ll make you jump out of your seat. What does The Crying Dead have to offer? A splatter of blood on the walls? As far as cringeworthy content goes, that’s about it.
The Crying Dead is a boring and generic found-footage horror film, featuring annoying shaky cam tricks, moronic characters, plot holes, and never ending stupidity. Also, they just had to throw in the clichéd “If anyone finds this” speech/plea (it’s Andrew at the very end) into the camera during the finale to add to the mound of mind numbing horror tropes. Die hard found-footage fans might enjoy The Crying Dead as a guilty pleasure, but I’ll remember this one as a regretful (and somewhat painful) experience.
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