Sick of the found footage horror movie?Wondering if the fad will ever go away?Well here’s another one, just in case you are one of are still interested in the sub-genre.While I am one of the many horror fans who is sick of found footage flicks I decided to give this a shot; based only on the title and that I could not remember seeing a found footage vampire movie and decided it was something different enough.
Twenty years ago there was a string of brutal and mysterious deaths in Black Water, West Virginia. Taking place in December 2012, the film follows the documented accounts of Danielle Mason (Danielle Lozeau) and her film crew who looked into the murders of alleged serial killer Raymond Banks (Bill Oberst Jr.) who has been locked up for nearly two decades. There has always been a mystery surrounding these murders: the bodies all had strange bite-marks and had been drained of blood and there was minimal evidence actually linking Banks to the murders, but that’s who got the blame. The crew doesn’t believe that vampires or other supernatural beings could be responsible for the murders, but it is Danielle’s belief that Banks could be innocent (albeit unlikely) and has made it her mission of sorts to see if she can prove his innocence before he’s put to death.
The acting in this film is actually decent. Which was a nice change from the last few films I reviewed here. I am impressed with the film makers going for a realistic tone. Danielle and the documentary film crew are all on camera at one point or another and each play their characters in an honest and natural way. It was very refreshing. As the movie progresses, they interview various people around the town. I really liked the interviews for the most part. They felt real. Like they were really discussing the murders with people who had lived through it. Occasionally there would be a little over-acting or something that came off as a bit goofy, but overall it was done quite well.
The film’s writing and dialogue was all decent and sounded very much like something you would see in a real amateur documentary. A true feeling of relief washed over me when I realized that this was not going to be another movie based around a fake ghost hunting show or web-show and it wasn’t a bunch of terrible actors trying to come off as better than they are. And I want to personally thank the film makers for not throwing in terrible humor or pointless sex, anything that was humorous came off as just natural conversation between the characters. Nothing felt forced or unlike something that people would say.
The plot focuses on real-life character drama and scares rather than throwing unrealistic jump scares or other crap at the audience. Very much in the vein of The Blair Witch Project, the group is more concerned with not getting lost in the woods rather than believing that something supernatural and evil is actually at work around them. Strange happenings and situations occur, but this doesn’t deter the group from making their way to the scene of the crimes. Towards the end of the movie things start to get a little weird (including some poor CGI), but still pretty original as far as found footage vampire movies go. Is there a real vampire? Is Banks the actual killer? Will the group make it out alive? These questions and more will be answered by the end of the film, which was actually pretty good. Overall it’s nothing outstanding or unlike things you’ve seen before, but definitely worth at least a rental.
The Black Water Vampire is now available on DVD and on various VOD services. It stars Danielle Lozeau, Bill Oberst Jr., Andrea Monier, Anthony Fanelli and Robin Steffen and was directed by Evan Tramel.