WEBCAST Is an Intriguing and Compelling Film, Steeped in Homage

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Webcast

Directed by Paul McGhie

Starring –  Samantha Redford as Chloe Webber, Joseph Tremain as Ed Dickens and Nicola Wright as Kimberly Webber

“The biggest fool is the one who minds the business of others rather than minding his very own.”   – Amit Abraham

Chloe is a young woman who has a somewhat morbid curiosity about her Aunt Amelia, who went missing many years ago. This interest has inspired Chloe to enlist her friend Ed to assist in creating a documentary about her Aunt.

She decides that her grandfather’s birthday party will offer her many guests with an abundant, collective of knowledge pertaining to her subject. While some are willing to oblige her with information about Amelia’s past and her disappearance, some are equally and understandably reticent.

The evening of the party, Chloe and Ed encounter a young woman screaming and running in the street. The young woman is quickly caught and subdued, by some of the neighbors, before being taken back to her neighbor’s home. This encounter is explained away as the frantic actions of a troubled, drug addicted girl experiencing withdrawal during recovery.

She becomes even more suspicious when she sees visibly ill or crippled people enter he neighbor’s house only to come out shortly after in seemingly radiant health. Is it the result of medicine, faith healing or possibly even witchcraft?

Chloe is now convinced that something is definitely amiss in suburbia, and believes that she and Ed need to uncover it.

What starts out as amateur sleuthing becomes a more intensive investigation. And as they dig deeper, things they witness and experience become increasingly peculiar.

Chloe and Ed now seek to publicly expose whatever mysterious goings-on are occurring in her neighborhood.  Regardless of how many bare witness, what consequences might the pair reap for their actions?

Paul McGhie directed this film based on a story he penned with Chris Shaw. These two created an intriguing and compelling story that pays homage to films like Rear Window, Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch, The ‘Burbs, Wicker Man, and Disturbia (which itself was very much an homage).  It does still manage to be very much its own story despite its influence from these other voyeuristic celluloid tales.

The story may begin a bit slow as it’s developing, but still coaxes the viewer to continue following narrative. While it’s certainly dark, Webcast is not a terrifying, “scare-a-minute” film. It’s more about the suspense and uneasiness the viewers will feel as they take this journey to its conclusion.

Whether the actors and actresses are just naturally gifted or McGhie is equally gifted as a director, the performances from the entire cast were completely natural and genuine.  Samantha Redford and Joseph Tremain are the leads and give great performances, while not having to carry the film on their own – a quality supporting cast ensured that.

Redford was particularly impressive in her debut role. Hopefully we’ll see more from her in the future, especially within the horror genre – she has the knack for it.

Even good performances can be unjustly tampered with by a hamfisted director. This is not the case with McGhie, whose directorial talent is proven by the quality performances that appear on the screen – well done, you.

The great thing about found footage films is that production values aren’t expected to be nearly on par with huge budget blockbuster films. The whole point is often for things to appear natural or commonplace. This also applies to cinematography, or perhaps lack there of. Especially since most casual camcorder users aren’t concerned with shot composition.  Such elements give a realistic and organic feel to this movie, which is essential in the found footage sub-genre.

The quality of found footage style films has been on the rise, both in story and subject matter. I’m pleased to say that Webcast continues the trend of true quality within this sub genre. I eagerly await whatever project McGhie has looming on the horizon.

With that I offer Webcast 7.5/10. Well done to McgHie, his cast and crew, you all definitely earned it.

 

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