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Cast: Samantha Stewart, Ruth Reynolds, Dominic Matteucci
VOODOO tells the story of an innocent southern girl, Dani, vacationing in Los Angeles to evade her increasingly complicated life. Once Dani arrives in Los Angeles, she learns that trying to escape her past is not as easy as she had hoped.
As the film opens, we meet Dani, a young lady who is taking her first vacation to L.A. to stay with her cousin Stacy. For the first half of the film we get a lot of drama and laughter as we get to know the main characters and are given information about Dani's recent breakup with her boyfriend. This is key because if sets up what is going to happen in the second half of the film. There is also a scene at the beach that hints toward some demonic behavior as well. Getting past the first half of the film might be a task for some but if you can make it that far and like films that are shocking and disturbing then you are going to be rewarded.
For me though I wasn't as impressed as some might be. I did like the beginning as we get to meet Dani and Stacey. I also thought it kept the audience engaged with Dani's back story which was of course was the lead in to what was about to come. It was the second half of the film that I was a little disappointed with. It wasn't because of the sometimes weak effects or settings because I expected that considering the film was done on a small budget. To me the last 45 minutes were just noisy and not really scary. Sure there were all kinds of disturbing things going on but it just seemed to drag on endlessly.
Now do not get me wrong. I didn't hate the film. In fact I found it to be creative and ambitious and I also give credit to Writer/Director, Tom Costabile for injecting some fresh ideas into the genre. Another thing I liked about the film was the acting, Everyone in the film did a great job but I was really impressed with Samantha Stewart who plays Dani and Ruth Reynolds who stars as her cousin, Stacey.
Production wise I thought the film looked great especially during the first half, during the second half while Dani is in hell some of the sets and effects could have used some work but again I under the budget restraints. So I think "Voodoo" will appeal to Indie horror fans and to those that enjoy disturbing scenes of torture but I do not think it will find an audience among mainstream movie goers. To me it was a mixed bag, I enjoyed some of the film and at the same time I thought it could have been so much better. Credit does go out to Director, Tom Costabile for coming up with something different and to his entire cast and crew for carrying his ideas out.
"Voodoo" opens in theaters February 24 across the U.S, the VOD hits day-and-date via Freestyle Digital Media. If it sounds like something you might like then please check it out and help support Independent Cinema. You can check out where the film will be playing by visiting its Official Site HERE.
Released by Freestyle Digital Media. ** 1/2 Out Of *****