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.
The film is obviously a chance to cash in on the popularity of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films, using the same "found footage" technique to tell the story. While a lot of these knock off type films are just made to make a quick buck, director Anthony Fankhauser and the rest of the crew actually put a lot thought and hard work into this film and it shows.
First, the few complaints I have about the film. The film is slow paced at first, in fact, really slow at the beginning while the audience is waiting for the first sign of any 'paranormal activity'. But stick with it and your patience will definitely pay off. Also, the group of "ghost hunters" constantly bicker and gripe at each other, which definitely gets old.
Other than that, the movie is very enjoyable. The acting is very good for this type of film. The effects are good as well, starting of small and harmless and then increasing in number and severity as the the night progresses. While the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films already showed us a lot of what these characters witness early on in the night (shadows, bedsheets being moved, doors slamming) we do see some stuff later in the film that you probably have not seen before. Everything comes to a boil in the films final 20 minutes or so, when the actual figure of the ghost of Gacy is picked up by the ghost hunters special cameras. Gacy becomes increasingly violent to these people and it makes for a very hectic and unnerving final scene.
The film ends with shots of the autopsy reports of each character, adding to the realism of this found footage film.
While these found footage films are coming out in increasing numbers these days to ride the popularity of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films, this one manages to keep some originality to it with the inclusion of the John Wayne Gacy serial killer plot. The mixture of serial killer film and ghost film was nice touch that I had not seen before. If this film would have come out before the PA films, I think it would have been a huge hit. I am afraid this film wont get the recognition and accolades it deserves since coming out later and people disregarding it as as cheap "knock-off" of sorts. I hope you will give this film a chance and enjoy it for the fun, entertaining film that it is. Turn down the lights, turn up the sound, and try not to be disturbed and unnerved, especially when you see the ghost of Gacy staring back at you. This is one I will definitely watch again and I hope you will check it out as well.
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