Film Review: Fading Of The Cries (2011)

SYNOPSIS:

Jacob, a young man armed with a deadly sword, saves Sarah, a teenage girl, from Mathias, a malevolent evil that has begun plaguing a small farmland town while in search of an ancient necklace that had belonged to Sarahs Uncle.

Jacob sets out to get Sarah home safely, running through streets, fields, churches and underground tunnels, while being pursued by hordes of demonic creatures. Along the way, both come to terms with the demons within themselves – Sarah begins to understand her hatred towards her mother and sister may be unjustified and Jacob discovers the secrets of his past, realizing the only way to truly defeat the demons is to return to the very place his family was murdered.

REVIEW:

Director – Brian Metcalf
Starring – Brad Dourif, Mackenzie Rosman, Thomas Ian Nicholas

I’ll admit that after seeing the first five minutes of this movie I was pretty sure where this was going. Oh you know, the usual story of a man moving into a creepy old mansion, weird things happening as he slowly loses his mind. But wow, was I fooled. About ten minutes in something happens that throws this story into not only a completely different direction, but arguably into a different subgenre of horror movie. Now that is no small feat. And while with this new story direction it eventually falls into more comfortable trappings of a familiar plotline, Fading of the Cries manages to keep the viewer entertained as it moves at a brisk pace.

We meet Michael (Thomas Ian Nicholas of American Pie) in the opening scene, where he arrives at his new home. Sure it’s large and foreboding and he got it at a cheap price, but after the sudden death of his wife and daughter, maybe this is what he needs. After all, his sister is close by for support and his publisher feels this is just what the doctor ordered as far as getting his head back into his unfinished novel.

Cut to fourteen years later where we meet his young niece, Sarah. She is your typical troubled teen who hates her mom and just wants to do things her way. While in her room she rediscovers the ancient necklace that was given to her by her Uncle Michael. She promptly puts it around her neck, grabs a bottle of booze and heads out the door. It isn’t long before she meets up with one of her friends in front said Uncle’s creepy old mansion. He has since passed on but the trip down memory lane is cut short by, well, to say more would ruin the surprise. Let’s just say I didn’t see it coming.

I will say that she is rescued by a young man named Jacob, who just happens to be very handy with a sword. And thank heavens for that because he is going to be using it again and again and again. The two just manage to escape and we quickly find out who is behind all of the madness. Just a super evil guy named Mathias (played by veteran character actor Brad Dourif). And wouldn’t you know all he wants is that ancient necklace back, the one he claims was stolen from him by Michael. But Sarah ain’t budging. It’s going to take more than threatening words for her to relinquish it.

Fading of the Cries is a solid movie that actually manages to mix several subgenres of horror without it feeling like a complete mishmash. Credit writer-director Brian Metcalf for delivering a fresh take on a familiar plot. The acting is what it is for this type of fare, but no surprise that Brad Dourif stands out among the cast. It doesn’t hurt that he is also given the best dialogue. Fun to see Thomas Ian Nicholas as Michael (I actually remember him as the star from Rookie Of The Year), the man who slowly finds himself overwhelmed by a mysterious journal found under the floorboards.

The special effects are okay for the budget and the gore ample enough without being overboard. The fight scenes are actually very well choreographed and well done. You won’t find any cheap, quick camera cuts here and that is a blessing. Sure, some parts of the movie are hokey but there is enough here to overcome them.

I would say catch this one on rental if you can as it is a quick watch, although I wouldn’t rate it on the level of a purchase. After you know what is going to happen I’m not sure how it would hold up on repeated viewings. That said, Fading of the Cries delivers exactly what you should expect from a B-movie: a fun, cheesy ride.

Fading of Cries is now available on DVD from Lionsgate Entertainment

Fading Of The Cries (2011)

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7 Responses to Film Review: Fading Of The Cries (2011)

  1. Allen says:

    Solid review. I must point out that the poster at the bottom of the article displays one of the most menacing and dark heroes against the back drop of some evil and prolific imagery which makes me want to see this movie so badly.
    The overall synopsis comes across as highly original, as you have pointed out the various “subgenres” that span the scope of the film and it’s storyline. I’m not too concerned about the acting as my expectations aren’t outrageously high. I just watched Samuel Bayer’s Nightmare On Elm Street last night, per chance that is why. It would be great if the hero turns out to be a great actor but the action hero doesn’t have to be, so long as there are great action sequences, of which you have pointed out in the review. I am highly intrigued from your article.

  2. Michael Volturioso says:

    This movie seems so unique that it will obviously take time for some fans to come around as it could be ahead of it’s time. Allen, to your point about the acting, I’ve read a synopsis commentary that states the Jacob is brought back from the dead, with additional reviews stating that there is a “making of/behind the scenes” bonus footage feature to the Lionsgate UK dvd purchase that shows the main actor, Jordan Matthews in a very different light. I think we can all state that this was a character choice in all likelihood. Not to mention, this is an action film. Critics should realize that this is a film that is not made for them. It’s not The Hurt Locker, which by the way, was the most undeserving Best Picture winner of the Academy Awards in motion picture history. I’d liken this movie more than anything to a film like Underworld or The Covenant. Parts even remind me of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead or The Crow by Alex Proyas. It’s a popcorn flick.

    To your point about Nightmare on Elm Street, Brad Dourif is a far better actor than Jackie, though I am a fan of both. Rooney Mara is a much better actress than this Hallee Hirsch actress who plays Sara in Fading Of The Cries, but once again, the acting isn’t much different than something found in Twilight, Sucker Punch, etc. Allen, have you seen the Henry Cavill performance in the trailer for Immortals? Not that enticing considering he is to be the new Man Of Steel.

  3. Angel Van Croft says:

    Thanks for the replies. I was reading some of the current reviews on IMDB and totally understand some of the bad reviews, obviously this isn’t for everyone. The important thing to remember is that this is a B-movie, or as Michael points out, a popcorn flick. It’s also cheesy. And for the “cheesy popcorn horror” genre, you could do much worse than this movie.

    Allen, that is one cool looking poster for sure, you just gotta love marketing departments. Yeah, the action sequences are great for the type of movie (cheesy popcorn) but for some they will be a little too repititive.

    • Allen says:

      Angel, I agree with your comments. It’s like people going to see Ghost Rider and expecting “The King’s Speech” (a movie that I thought was over rated as I was more partial to Black Swan). I’m sure this will also be the case when we see James Franco in “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” (I see that it’s an anticipated movie on your site).

      I don’t know that I would call this a B-movie. The original Nightmare On Elm Street series was a B-Series. Aside from there being no major headline star in the movie, I would call this a vehicle (much like the case for the Harry Potter film….those obviously have a larger budget) that I found to be quite ambitious and original. My hats off to this not being a remake. I also liked that our hero wasn’t a tool pretty boy. I liked that the character got “beaten up and ugly.”

  4. Angel Van Croft says:

    Allen, you are so right about the “hats off to this not being a remake.” That’s one of the main reasons I liked this film, nice to see the filmmakers do something different for a change. I also agree with your B-movie statement, anymore it just seems like a catch-all to describe everything but I’ve seen other discussions in other forums about how hard it is to define that term. Some point to budget, others to the talent, still others to the basic plot. It’s kind of like “I know it when I see it” vibe. All that said, I’d be curious to see what this director does next.

    • Allen says:

      Thanks Angel. I guess I meant that it’s rare to see any vfx in a B movie, at least at this level. Some of the scenes are incredibly epic. The only problem I found was that there was such a dramatic change between the scope of the more epic feeling vfx and fight sequences, and the slightly slower paced sequences with the characters of Maggie, Sarah, and Jill. If anything, I’d almost recommend that, if a follow up were done (see below), that they focus on some more story development or make 85%-90% of the movie match the last 25 minutes of this one, because of the high paced, action packed sequences. That was the most impressive part of the film for me (I would love to see Jacob take on more onslaughts of zombies and have an even bigger fight sequence with Mathias). The one sequence before Jacob reaches the attic, where he slaughter’s Thur’al had just the right gore factor for me.

      The way the ending was set up, along with some interviews I’ve read from the director, allude to a possible sequel (speaking of what the director might do next). I guess we’ll have to see. Personally, I’d like to see more character development between the relationship of Jacob and Mathias, as the ending was a very unsuspecting turn.

      Of course, I’m always interested in what Brad Dourif does. I am very curious to see what the main actor, Jordan Matthews does next. His next choice will be a major one for his career (whether he stays true to the action hero genre or branches out into prestigious fare). All in all, I’m very impressed with this movie. Maybe if they develop the plot a little more, it’ll all unfold and more more sense as a story.

  5. Jimmy G says:

    But why did they insist on pronouncing necromancer so terribly?

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