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Altar

USA 2016
produced by
James D. Schumacher III, Tina Johnson, Nicole L. Osborne, Nicole Spate, Nick Soares (executive), Orlando J. Gomez (executive), Penny Park (executive), Pat Parrish (executive), Sherry Parrish (executive) for Movie Heroes Studios, Stellar Lense Productions, Schumacher III
directed by Matthew Sconce
starring Stefanie Estes, Jesse Parr, Deep Rai, Brittany Falardeau, Tim Parrish, Jessica Strand (as Ancilla deValmont), Dave Johnson, Catherine Wilcox, Michael Wainwright, Gregory Tharpe, Kia Vassiliades, Patrick Nalty, Nicole L. Osborne, Johnny Soto, Jacqueline Connors
written by Matthew Sconce, music by the Red Coats, special effects makeup by Tina Johnson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Ever since the death of his parents, Bo (Jesse Parr) has grown slightly odd and anit-social, almost autistic in a way, and the only outlet for this he has found in his video camera - which is why his sister Maisy (Stefanie Estes) convinces him to go on a camping trip with her and her friends (Deep Rai, Chelsea Rich, Tim Parrish, Ancilla deValmont), telling him he should make a documentary of it, but it's really to get him out of his shell a bit. Problem is, their car breaks down, they are warned to not go any farther by a creepy local, Ripper (Michael Wainwright), then they get completely lost, and find a nice camping spot for the night only thanks to some friendly strangers (Dave Johnson, Catherine Wilcox). But then they have the brilliant idea to go and explore the surroundings that night, and they find a weird altar with skulls that cry blood embedded in it - spooky enough to scare them shitless of course. The next day they notice they have lost their car keys, their friendly neighbours are gone and only a trail of blood hints where they might have gotten to, and when they against better judgment decide to check the creepy altar again, they are attacked by Ripper. They manage to shoot him dead for sure, but that only puts them on a downward spiral of violence ...

 

Now I'm not the biggest fan of found footage movies ... but this is a pretty good one, especially since it does not relie too much on the format's overuse of shaky camerawork to create suspense (and even when it does, it often hides spooky elements in peripheral vision), instead uses more classic (but also more effective) methods to do so. Plus a likeable cast playing relateable characters really helps to care for the on-screen goings-on while nicely placed shocks and gore keep one at the edge of one's seat.

In all, a very solid shocker, actually.

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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produced by and starring
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written by
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out now on DVD